Item 2005.002.01.011 - Otis Barton (Beebe/Barton's 1934 Bathysphere) Revisits the Deep Sea 50 Years Later in Harbour Branch Johnson - Sea Link 1 [rough cut]

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Otis Barton (Beebe/Barton's 1934 Bathysphere) Revisits the Deep Sea 50 Years Later in Harbour Branch Johnson - Sea Link 1 [rough cut]

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[Barton sub dive] : [rough edit]

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  • Source of title proper: Title taken from housing

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  • ca. 1984 (Creation)
    MacInnis, Joseph B.

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Physical description

1 videocassette (25 min, 17 sec.): VHS, master; col., sd.

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Biographical history

Dr. Joe MacInnis, C.M. MD. FRCP. (Hon) LLD. (Hon), earned a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1962 and was awarded a research position at the University of Pennsylvania to begin what would become his pursuit for the following three decades: the study of the physiology and psychology of men and women in undersea conditions. Between 1964 and 1970 he worked as the medical director of Ocean Systems Inc., the world's largest diving and underwater engineering company. In 1970, Dr. MacInnis participated in the research and writing of Canada's first national ocean policy. During this time, he initiated the first of eleven diving expeditions to study the systems and techniques needed to work safely under the ice in the near-freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the next decade, his team would make more than 1,000 dives and construct the world's first undersea polar station, the Sub-Igloo.
In 1978 Dr. MacInnis led the team that discovered, explored, and filmed the HMS Breadalbane, a three-masted British barque crushed by the ice in the Northwest Passage in 1853. Located in 340 feet of water 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the HMS Breadalbane is the world's northernmost known shipwreck. Shortly after the discovery of the Breadalbane, Dr. MacInnis turned his attention to the most infamous shipwreck of all - the Titanic. He made two dives to the bow and stern of the Titanic between 1985 and 1991, and was co-leader of the two million dollar project to film the ship in IMAX format. In 2005, he joined James Cameron on a dive that produced a 90 minute live broadcast from some of the last unseen rooms of the ship.

Dr. MacInnis is involved in a number of community service projects that reflect the wide range of his interests, supporting both scientific and artistic ingenuity and the protection of the environment. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, the Queen's Anniversary Medal, the Admiral's Medal and the country's highest honour, the Order of Canada. He regularly lectures on topics of leadership and teamwork, and continues to publish on his underwater discoveries.

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Scope and content

Recorded in Florida at Harbor Branch Oceanographic and in the Atlantic Ocean. This recording documents Otis Barton, pioneer underwater explorer and designer of the bathysphere (1930), as he revisits the deep sea 50 years later aboard the Johnson Sea Link 1. The recording includes drawings of the creatures that Barton encountered during his plunges during the era of the bathysphere. Following this, the recording goes on to another deep dive aboard the Johnson Sea Link 1 submersible. Included are close up images of the deep sea animal life collected during this dive. It is not mentioned whether or not Barton also took part in this dive. The bathysphere was designed by underwater explorers Otis Barton and William Beebee and took its first plunge in 1930. A bathysphere consists of a steel sphere with small circular windows of fused quartz. Inside it are the required oxygen tanks. During dives, these vessels were lowered into the water with cables and chains. During its first year, the bathysphere design could already dive to depths of 1,426 feet, two years later breaking records at 3,028 feet. Many discoveries about the deep sea were made from the confines of these vessels.

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Physical condition

Audio malfunctions.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated to the Ryerson University Library by Dr. Joe McInnis.


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Digital copies only. Original records are not accessible/viewable using the equipment in the reading room. Digital copies may be viewed onsite.

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Copyright holder unknown.

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Signatures note

Handwritten note inside cassette: Otis Barton, designer of/ 1934 Bathysphere,) revisits deep/ sea 50 yrs later in Harbor/ Branch Johnson - Sea Link 1/ (also featuring Emory Kristof &/ Dr. MacInnis)

General note

Notes from initial viewing:
Harbor Branch Johnson - Sea Link 1 (deep water submersible craft based on design principles of Edwin Link) traveling through water, then being hoisted onto boat
Sepia-toned stills of 1934 Bathysphere and deep sea creatures
Dr. JM interviewing Otis Barton about deep sea dive conditions in Bathysphere during their visit to Bathysphere by harbor
Barton being helped into HBJ - SL1 by crew members
Barton and another man submerged in HBJ - SL1 [footage from interior and exterior], to depth of 20 feet; b&w silent moving images of a dive in Bathysphere with 2 divers in craft; went to 2,200 feet?; crew monitoring onboard ship
Back to HBJ-SL1 - traveling through water, hoisted out and crew helping Barton out

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