Museum Week is an international online event that is running from 19th to 25th June 2017. Organised in collaboration with UNESCO, the Museum Week is a chance for heritage institions across the world to share and talk about our passion for heritage with the public through social media. This year we are celebrating equality by dedicating the Museum Week to all women in the world.

The Maritime Archaeology Trust will be sharing with you our take on Museum Week. In collaboration with the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum on the Isle of Wight we will be looking through their collections and bring you artefacts and histories that are linked in with the theme of the day

The Tuesday theme for the week is SPORTS!

Antique diving suits at the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum on the Isle of Wight. Photo Credit: The Shipwreck Centre

Did you know that at the Shipwreck Centre we hold a collection of antique diving gear? Augustus Siebe, who is a German born inventor, is credited as the first person to design the closed diving suit, i.e. full suit and helmet in one. The design came about after he was contacted by the Deane brothers who wanted Siebe to come up with a new helmet design to replace their own. The Deane brothers are well-known in maritime history. They were the first people to discover the wreck of the Mary Rose among other things.

Martin Woodward wearing an antique diving suit in the 70s. Photo credit: The Shipwreck Centre

The first design of the Siebe diving suit came about in 1839. Still a century after its creation – Siebe’s diving suit was still used all over the world. Martin Woodward, the founder of the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum on the Isle of Wight, proved that the antique diving suit design can still be used when he tried it out in the 70s.

Martin Woodward recently gearing up in an antique diving suit. Photo Credit: The Shipwreck Centre