Sir Robert Henry Davis F.R.S.A. Hon Dsc., Birmingham University
Sir Robert H. Davis F.R.S.A. Hon Dsc., Birmingham University
Source: A History of Ashtead
- his middle name was Henry
- had a range of titles at Siebe Gorman & Co. Ltd including Director, Managing Director and Chief Executive
- Siebe Gorman had a number of local offices
Neptune Works, Chessington, Surrey and an experimental wing in Surbiton.
In 1940 Siebe, Gorman & Co. Ltd used had the address 187 Westminster Bridge Road, London S.E.1 Temporary Address: Park Lane, Ashtead
- He was the creator of items such as
- Davis False Lung in 1911
- Davis Submersible Decompression Chamber (DSDC) in 1912
- Fleuss-Davis SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) unit some time before 1914
- Transfer-Under-Pressure (TUP) system in 1920s or 1930s
- and most famously
- Davis Submarine Escape Apparatus (DSEA)
- The Historical Diving Society has a couple of good references, including
- U.S. Navy Diving Manual Chapter 1 has a very good History of Diving
- The Alexandra Palace Television Society have 7 pictures of Diving - John Snagge being instructed how to dive in a Siebe Gorman diving tank, London 23 November 1939
- An Ashtead Resident, R.H. Davies, was knighted in the 1932 Birthday Honours for his invention of deep-sea and other breathing apparatus
Source: The animals who die for diving - From an article in issue June 99 DIVE Magazine
- The dispassionate attitude towards animal experimentation in the earlier half of this century is summed up quite elegantly in Robert H Davis seminal tome,
Deep Diving and Submarine Operations.
On deep diving experiments, he wrote: So as to avoid unnecessary risk to human life, it is our practice, before testing any new system of deep-diving or decompression on men, to make preliminary tests on animals.
The most reluctant experimental subjects are baboons, which truly resent being confined in chambers, and scream furiously when incarcerated. Davis recalls that the baboons used by Siebe, Gorman and Co made every attempt to escape their fate, including one that climbed to the roof rafters and refused to be tempted back to the chamber by offerings of food.
At a pressure equal to 400ft (122m) of water, these animals found the floorboards of the chamber movable, and pulled them up with the greatest dexterity, Davis reported.
Davis gentle irony belies a different side to his nature, a steadfast devotion to research over all other concerns that is perhaps shared with other scientists involved in hyperbaric research.
During a lecture for the Royal Society of Arts, he provoked anger by suggesting that convicted murderers awaiting execution should be given the option of participating in extreme decompression experiments.
We feel that if such criminals were given the choice between certain execution and a chance of surviving the scientist's experiment, very few would refuse to take the risk, he argued.
While expiating their crimes, they would be helping the progress of research, and some of them might even be the instruments of such far-reaching discoveries for the benefit of suffering humanity as to warrant their inclusion among the saints - in the scientific sense.
The books are listed in alphabetical order of title.
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||Breathing in Irrespirable Atmospheres
Sir Robert H. Davis: Published 1938? by Siebe Gorman and Company Ltd.
||Deep Diving and Submarine Operations - A Manual for Deep Sea Divers and Compressed Air Workers
Sir Robert H. Davis: 8th ed Published 1981 by Siebe Gorman and Company Ltd.
7th ed Published 1962 by The Saint Catherine Press, 693 pages
6th ed Published 1955 by The Saint Catherine Press, 693 pages, hardback
5th ed Published 1951 by The Saint Catherine Press, 654 pages, hardback
4th ed Published 1935 by The Saint Catherine Press
||Deep Diving and Under-water Rescue
Sir Robert H. Davis: Published 1934? by The Royal Society of Arts
The Royal Society of Arts (John Street, Adelphi, London, W.C. 2) has issued in this pamphlet the four Thomas Gray lectures delivered in February 1934 by
Sir Robert Davis, Governing Director of Messrs Siebe, German and Co., Ltd. The lecturer outlined the whole story of divers and diving from sub-aquatic
insects provided with natural air-pipes as diving-bells, through the naked human divers, the earlier diving appliances and dresses, to the flexible and armoured
deep-water diving dresses of to-day. He touched upon diving-bells; submarine observation chambers; the problem of "decompression"; and described a few
of the more notable operations in deep water for the recovery of treasure or ships. In his last lecture Sir Robert Davis dealt with his own invention,
the well-known submarine escape apparatus which is now part of the standard equipment of H.M. Submarines, and has already saved valuable lives. Everyone
interested will welcome this useful pamphlet of 62 pages and 40 illustrations by one of the most prominent figures in the salvage world.
- T. D. The Mariner's Mirror (The Quarterly Journal of the Society for Nautical Research) Vol. XXI, No 1, January 1935 page 109
|| Diving Scientifically and Practically Considered - A Diving Manual and Handbook of Submarine Appliances
Embodying the Deep Sea Practice Adopted By the British Admiralty, and Including Chapters on the Physics and Physiology of Diving, Salvage Operations etc
Sir Robert H. Davis: 2nd ed Published 1924? by Siebe Gorman and Company Ltd., 271 pages
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