Any additional information welcome!
To my surprise I received additional information from Mr. Ron Pollard. He was able to send me information about his great Grandfather (!!) James Baker. Here you find his biography. I am very happy to be able to add this information. Another piece of diving history saved! Thank you Ron !!



Below is a short bio for JB Pollard.


If I find any information on the diving suit, I will forward it to you.


Take care,





James Baker Pollard

1846 , Born 28 March 28, in Amelia Co. Virginia.   Mother was Adoelena Nunnally Pollard,  Father was William H. Pollard

1850, JB age 4, lives with parents in Prince Edward Co. Va. (1850 Census)

1860, JB age 15, lives with parents in Nottoway Co.   Va. (1860 Census )

1864 abt.  JB joined the Confederate Army and was later drafted/volunteered into the Confederate States Navy. He distinguished himself in a number of battles and received a severe chest wound from a cutlass during one of the battles.

1865  Married  Bettie Rosen Bradshaw in Nottoway Co., Va.

1873 moved to Bedford Va. JB was a carpenter and home builder. N&W railroad expansion in the area gave rise to a building boom which attracted JB to the area.

1876  became a Mason at Liberty Lodge, Bedford, Va. On May 15, 1876

1880 JB head of House, age 34, Carpenter, Liberty, Bedford Co, Lynchburg Rd. (1880 Census)

1880 JB’s parents and grandmother continue to live in  Nottoway Co.  Va. (1880 Census: household of William H. & Anna Pollard, with Elizabeth Pollard, mother, widow, 89, in Virginia, Nottoway Co.)

1880 JB was in business with his brother Edward T. Pollard.   The businesses were named Pollard & Bro. Wood and Iron Works, and Liberty Steam Mills,  co-located in Liberty, Va. (The business stationary lists; JB Pollard Architect and Builder – Manufacturer and dealer in sash, blinds, doors, moldings, brackets, stair rails, newels, etc., &  ET Pollard dealer in lift and Force Pumps – machines and appliances for supplying towns and public buildings with gas, water, & steam )

1886  JB has moved to 115 10th Street, Roanoke, Va.

1887  JB moved his Mason affiliation to Lakeland Lodge, Roanoke, Va.

1890 ET lives in Richmond, Va

1891 ET Pollard, assignor to the Ludington Co., New Haven Conn., was granted a US Patent (No. 454,593)  for a Cigarette (Manufacturing) Machine (Note: In 1880 the first cigarette rolling machine was invented by James Albert Bonsack in Roanoke Va.)

1892  May 24,  JB Pollard was granted  a US Patent (No. 475,341) for a Cigarette (Manufacturing)  Machine

1893 July 10, JB Pollard was granted Patent in Canada for his Cigarette Machine. ‘ International Cigarette Machine Co. assignee of James Baker Pollard, Canadian Patent 43,554 Cigarette Machine’. (Source: The Canadian Patent Office Record and Register of 1894, Volume 21, Issues 1-12,  pg. 569)

1893 Edward Thomas Pollard’s  Packaging Machine company (Sales, Pollard & Co., London.) was sold to Wills Ltd., London, England (W.D & H.O. Wills).

1893  JB sold his Cigarette  Machine patent rights to his brother ET for the sum of $40,000.

1897,  Aug. 3 J B Pollard was granted a US Patent (no. 587,604)  for a  Diving Outfit

1900 James B Pollard, is listed in the Roanoke City Directory as a contractor residing at 115 10th St SW. His company, the J. B. Pollard Building and Construction Co. was located at Pinner’s Point, Va.

1903 Jan.  20,  JB was granted a US Patent (No.  718,791)  for a  Rotary (Steam) Engine.

1904 James B Pollard, listed in the Roanoke City Directory as a contractor living at River Boulevard and 12th St SW. This is a home he built for himself around 1900.

1906  ET With British-American Tobacco Co., London

1907, 22 May – J.B. receives the Southern Cross of Honor from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  He belonged to the United Confederate Veterans Camp 203 in Roanoke.

1907, 27 Aug.  E. T. Pollard granted a US Patent (No.  864,256) for a Cigarette Packaging Machine

1910 23 Sept JB Pollard died from Typhoid Fever at age 64. He is buried in the Roanoke City Cemetery along with his father, William H. and his mother Addelena Pollard and his brother John W. Pollard

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 Very Little is known about the suit James Baker Pollard from Roanoke State of Virginia patented in 1897. His patent 587604 describes a diving suit or armor with a metallic head section, a flexible shoulder section and a metallic trunk section. The limb portion also made of flexible material. His suit was attached to three hoses, one speaking tube, one suction tube and a air return tube. All additional information is welcome. He used a reel apparatus to arrange the hoses.

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