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A. Schrader's Son Division "Mark V"

  • Ref: c_2017
Authentic US Navy Mark V diving helmet or “hard hat”. This authentic diving helmet was manufactured by A. Schrader's Son.

In the world of collecting Mark V helmets, the Schrader made helmets are becoming increasingly difficult to find in good original condition. The only helmet more difficult to obtain than the Schrader is the Miller-Dunn Mark V helmet.

This particular Schrader helmet is in very good condition with normal denting to the bonnet as would be expected from a hard hat that was actually subjected to service in World War 2.

The serial number of this hat is 643B and the date of manufacture is 9-43 making it a mid-war production helmet. The helmet has the correct US Navy acceptance anchor stamp on the transceiver box as well as the serial number 643. All numbers are matching. All glass is original and perfect with no cracking. The studs are all solid, straps are all matching, and the interior tinning and air vents are in perfect original shape. In short, this is a very tough helmet to find anymore and especially one in this condition. This helmet has never been polished, altered or messed with, just used as it was intended to be used.

It is an actual US Navy dive helmet used during WWII. You can only begin to imagine the many arduous and incredibly dangerous salvage and harbor clearing operations this helmet was actually used in. An actual Navy veteran of WWII with real history.

This hat polished, Schrader was the only diving helmet manufacturer who used yellow-brass instead of red brass in their helmets. A polished Schrader hat displays spectacularly because of the brighter colored yellow brass.


Schrader is one of the oldest names in U.S. diving, second only to Morse. The founder, August Schrader was a creative and inventive German immigrant who originally set up a shop dealing in rubber products in New York City, NY in 1839, only a few years after A.J. Morse set up shop in Boston.

In 1845 he began supplying fittings and valves for rubber products made by the Goodyear Brothers. Schrader was also a maker of daguerreotype apparatus. His original shop was at 115 John Street in Manhattan, NY. Shortly thereafter he went into partnership with Christian Baecher. Christian was a brass turner and finisher which provided a foundation for what followed.

The two partners, having watched divers at work at a nearby New York Harbor jetty, decided to improve the diving helmets in use at the time. In 1849, with the help of Baecher, he created a new copper helmet. Later his interest in diving led to him to design an air pump.

Around 1890, August Schrader saw the need for a bicycle tire valve. By 1891, he produced the Schrader valve. The Schrader valve was his most popular invention, and is still used today.

In 1917, the United States Bureau of Construction & Repair introduced the MK V helmet and dress, which then became the standard for US Navy diving until the introduction of the MK 12 in the late nineteen seventies. Schrader and Morse Diving were the two original supplers.

During the onslaught of World War Two only Morse and Schrader were making dive helmets for the navy. Desco and Miller-Dunn went into production around 1943. In total only about 7,000 MK V helmets were produced by all four companies during the war years with DESCO producing the most, then Morse, Schrader and Miller-Dunn. The scarcity of the latter two are the reason they command a higher price in the market.
I only buy pieces or change/sell the pieces published on my website with the tag "CHANGE - FOR SALE". If you have some things to offer or to change, we can speak about the price and in the case of change, we pay the price difference by cash. I’m a spanish collector of classic diving helmets, boots, knives, etc. Don't hesitance to contact us if you have some item to offer.