* Day and Spalding mourn. l. 217. Mr. Day perished in a diving bell, or diving boat, of his own construction at Plymouth in June 1774, in which he was to have continued for a wager twelve hours one hundred feet deep in water, and probably perished from his not possessing all the hydrostatic knowledge that was necessary. See note on Ulva, Vol. II. of this work. See Annual Register for 1774. p. 245.
Mr. Spalding was professionally ingenious in the art of constructing and managing the diving bell, and had practised the business many years with success. He went down accompanied by one of his young men twice to view the wreck of the Imperial East-Indiaman at the Kish bank in Ireland. On descending the third time in June, 1783, they remained about an hour under water, and had two barrels of air sent down to them, but on the signals from below not being again repeated, after a certain time, they were drawn up by their assistants and both found dead in the bell. Annual Register for 1783, p. 206. These two unhappy events may for a time check the ardor of adventurers in traversing the bottom of the ocean, but it is probable in another half century it may be safer to travel under the ocean than over it, since Dr. Priestley's discovery of procuring pure air in such great abundance from the calces of metals.
[ return to text ]