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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Dunk Tank: 1931

Dunk Tank: 1931

Washington, D.C., 1931. "Man partially submerged in tank with breathing appar­atus." Last seen here on this guy, probably at the Navy Yard. View full size.


Result of a tragedy

This is not the full scale escape training tank at the New London, Connecticut sub base, so I agree that the navy yard is a possibility.

The underwater breathing gear shown here was developed following the loss of the submarine S-4 in 1927. She sank in only 110 feet of water, and the surviving members of her crew suffocated in still-intact compartments while rescuers were unable to reach the sub due to bad weather.

The end of his rope?

He appears to be holding a knotted piece of rope between his legs, presumably so he doesn't float away as the tank fills up.

Man totally submerged

This man is totally submerged in a tank using a momsen lung a device used to escape from submarines. He is either testing it or practicing with it.

[His head is above water, as indicated by the distortion and light refractions from surface ripples only on his shoulders on down. -tterrace]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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