JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Hope on the Water: 1954

February 2, 1954. "Actress Hope Lange and diving instructor Chuck Diercksmeier diving off the Florida coast; Lange posed on seawall with an assortment of scuba equipment." 35mm negative from the Look magazine assignment "Everybody's Going Underwater." View full size.

February 2, 1954. "Actress Hope Lange and diving instructor Chuck Diercksmeier diving off the Florida coast; Lange posed on seawall with an assortment of scuba equipment." 35mm negative from the Look magazine assignment "Everybody's Going Underwater." View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Where's Shorpy?

Dave, I love when you include the Shorpy logo, as part of the picture! In a strange kind of way, it reminds me of back in the day, when the Playboy Bunny logo, was hidden somewhere on the cover of the magazine!


First of all, wow.

Second, it looks like she might have time-traveled into the past to rescue Captain Gregg in a can't-miss senses-shattering season finale. Don't watch alone!

Uh, what

is Chuck's last name again?

B-17 Air Compressor

Thats a WWII Cornelius 32-R-300 three stage air compressor used in B-17s. They would do 3000 psi on 27 volts. Many were converted to 120V and used in dive operations to refill tanks. I used one to refill the air tanks on Yak aircraft.


She has a full-face free-flow mask which works for surface supplied air but can also work as a demand regulator with the bottles she has on. 2250 psi is max pressure for the steel 50's cu ft bottles she's wearing, however 1850 psi is the usual capacity when filling to allow for expansion. The bottles are immersed in water when charging with air as Charles Law (Chargin' Charlie's) tells you that when a gas is compressed it generates heat and when it is rapidly released it cools. So to avoid the max bursting pressure of a 2250 psi bottle immerse it, and fill it to 1850. The sun can heat the 1850 to well over 2250 if the diver leaves it exposed to long - that's why it's painted white.

The compressor has too short of an air hose for surface supplied use, and without a close look at the pressure gauge I can't tell if it's capable of filling the tanks to 1850 psi. A similar one online is rated to 1500 psi.

She has a pressure gauge on her right hip for the bottles and a depth gauge on the right wrist. A pair of Duck Feet fins on some nicely manicured feet and a handy dive knife tool.

I am concerned about her watch, leather band and no bezel to mark her dive time and I doubt it is even waterproof. Even worse she does not have her buoyancy compensator and she's wearing dive weights! Oh yes, the photographer is more concerned with presenting her fine figure, how foolish of me.

She was somethin’

All I can say is va va va voom!

Great gear!

My, she has fabulous equipment! Just get all that hardware out of the picture. Is that the instructor down in the water?

[That's a pelican. - Dave]

Save the Sinking SHORPY

The small, pressure-proof box contains a light meter (possibly a Gossen Luna-Pro) to measure the ambient light for exposure time or aperture settings.

Ms. Lange is wearing a Jantzen bathing suit – my mom’s favorite brand. I don’t recognize the mask/regulator combo. This is 9 years before I became a certified SCUBA diver.

That compressor looks a little too small to fill those twin 50(?) cubic foot tanks as they are rated for between 1850 and 2250 PSI. Compressors of that size are generally used as surface supplied air directly to the regulator for shallower (30 to 45 feet) and longer bottom time. The tanks provide a source of air in a “bailout” situation.

No modern safety equipment such as a buoyancy compensator, dive computer, tank pressure gauge.

An attractive frogwoman

This is a great photo of a very beautiful woman. It's interesting to look at the gear spread out on the quay. The compressor looks like it requires shore power and since the air hose from it looks really short, I wonder if back then, they'd refilled the bottles right then and there? I know when I've been with folks getting bottles filled, and that was maybe once or twice, they did it with the bottle in a tank of water. I'm not sure if that was only to check for leaks while filling or for safety. The waterproof camera looks very rugged compared to ones used today. I wonder what the small box with the round dial is? Would it be for measuring water pressure?

Also strange but true

When this Shorpy photo dropped, I was on my way to view a restored print of David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet'.

Here is Hope with Laura Dern. In a movie notorious for overacting, Hope is a paragon of skeptical restraint.

Strange but true

According to her obituary, Hope was hired by Eleanor Roosevelt to walk her dog Fala. One thing led to another, and Hope was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “Peyton Place.”

What lungs!

SCUBA is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. TUBA is an acronym for Terrible Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

Look Ma: no heels !!

What was the reason 'Look' lost the battle against 'Life', again?? I'm guessing photos like this wasn't it.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Accessibility Statement | Site © 2023 Shorpy Inc.