Davis, Robert Henry

Davis, Robert Henry
SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
b. 6 June 1870 London, England
d. 29 March 1965 Epsom, Surrey, England
English inventor of breathing, diving and escape apparatus.
Davis was the son of a detective with the City of London police. At the age of 11 he entered the employment of Siebe, Gorman \& Co., manufacturers of diving and other safety equipment since 1819, at their Lambeth works. By good fortune, his neat handwriting attracted the notice of Mr Gorman and he was transferred to work in the office. He studied hard after working hours and rose steadily in the firm. In his twenties he was promoted to Assistant Manager, then General Manager, Managing Director and finally Governing Director. He retired in 1960, having been made Life President the previous year, and continued to attend the office regularly until May 1964.
Davis's entire career was devoted to research and development in the firm's special field. In 1906 he perfected the first practicable oxygen-breathing apparatus for use in mine rescue; it was widely adopted and with modifications was still in use in the 1990s. With Professor Leonard Hill he designed a deep-sea diving-bell incorporating a decompression chamber. He also invented an oxygen-breathing apparatus and heated apparel for airmen flying at high altitudes.
Immediately after the first German gas attacks on the Western Front in April 1915, Davis devised a respirator, known as the stocking skene or veil mask. He quickly organized the mass manufacture of this device, roping in members of his family and placing the work in the homes of Lambeth: within 48 hours the first consignment was being sent off to France.
He was a member of the Admiralty Deep Sea Diving Committee, which in 1933 completed tables for the safe ascent of divers with oxygen from a depth of 300 ft (91 m). They were compiled by Davis in conjunction with Professors J.B.S.Haldane and Leonard Hill and Captain G.C.Damant, the Royal Navy's leading diving expert. With revisions these tables have been used by the Navy ever since. Davis's best-known invention was first used in 1929: the Davis Submarine Escape Apparatus. It became standard equipment on submarines until it was replaced by the Built-in Breathing System, which the firm began manufacturing in 1951.
The firm's works were bombed during the Second World War and were re-established at Chessington, Surrey. The extensive research facilities there were placed at the disposal of the Royal Navy and the Admiralty Experimental Diving Unit. Davis worked with Haldane and Hill on problems of the underwater physiology of working divers. A number of inventions issued from Chessington, such as the human torpedo, midget submarine and human minesweeper. In the early 1950s the firm helped to pioneer the use of underwater television to investigate the sinking of the submarine Affray and the crashed Comet jet airliners.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Knighted 1932.
Davis was the author of several manuals on diving including Deep Sea Diving and Submarine Operations and Breathing in Irrespirable Atmospheres. He also wrote Resuscitation: A Brief Personal History of Siebe, Gorman \& Co. 1819–1957.
Further Reading
Obituary, 1965, The Times, 31 March, p. 16.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robert Kirkland Henry — (* 9. Februar 1890 in Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin; † 20. November 1946 in Madison, Wisconsin) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1945 und 1946 vertrat er den Bundesstaat Wisconsin im US Repräsentantenhaus. Werdegang… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Henri — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Robert Henri Robert Henri, fotografía de Gertrude Kasebier (1900). Nombre real Robert Henry Cozad Nacimiento 25 de ju …   Wikipedia Español

  • Robert H. Clancy — Robert Henry Clancy (* 14. März 1882 in Detroit, Michigan; † 23. April 1962 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1923 und 1933 vertrat er zwei Mal den Bundesstaat Michigan im US Repräsentantenhaus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henry Clay — For other people named Henry Clay, see Henry Clay (disambiguation). Henry Clay Henry Clay 1818 portrait by Matthew Harris Jouett 8th, 10th and 13th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives …   Wikipedia

  • Robert De Niro — This article is about the actor. For his father, see Robert De Niro, Sr.. Robert De Niro De Niro at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of The Bang Bang Club Born August 17, 1943 …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Cooper — For other people named Henry Cooper, see Henry Cooper (disambiguation). Sir Henry Cooper Statistics Nickname(s) Our Enery Rated at Heavyweight Height 6 feet 1.5 inches (1.867 m) Reach …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Clay — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Clay. Henry Clay Sur les autres projets Wikimedia  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robert Davis (inventor) — Sir Robert Henry Davis (1870 ndash; 1965) improved the rebreather, after Henry Fleuss invented it. The Davis Escape Set was named after him.Davis Road in Chessington (where Siebe Gorman s factory was for a while) was named after him. Publications …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Henri — Infobox Artist bgcolour = #6495ED name = Robert Henri imagesize = caption = Robert Henri, by Gertrude Kasebier (1900) birthname = birthdate = birth date |1865|6|25| location = Cincinnati, Ohio deathdate = death date and age |1929|7|12|1865|6|25|… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Owen — For other uses, see Robert Owen (disambiguation). Robert Owen Born 14 May 1771(1771 05 14) Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales …   Wikipedia

  • Davis — ist ein häufiger Familienname. Er steht zum König David im Alten Testament, im allgemeinen mit einer patronymischen s Bildung zu dem häufigen Vornamen David, als Verkürzung aus Davids. Davis ist auch der Name einer Universitätsstadt in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”