John, Lieutenant Commander Fend Johnson, Fen John Underwater Photo discussed on Scuba Shack Radio


E. R Johnson had a long in an illustrious career underwater photography and also with the world of scuba diving. You may recall from the first two segments in this series fence started shallow water diving, using a Miller and done helmet I to untangle his yachts propeller and then to embark in underwater photography. After retiring at age twenty, eight from the victor. Talking, Machine Company accompanied at his father founded he started the Mechanical Improvements Company and that company designed and manufactured underwater cameras and photography equipment. In World War Two Johnson served in the navy and used his expertise in underwater photography. After World War Two. Lieutenant Commander Fend Johnson remained in the naval reserves and was instrumental in working with and documenting operations of the navy's underwater demolition, team. The visual evidence of the things the divers did with the underwater submarine underway probably Save the U. D. T. as a viable force of the future. But then Johnson wasn't done with underwater photography yet. I guess he was also bitten by the scuba diving bug like many of us. So he starts a company and calls it John. In Fan, John is a company that focuses on underwater photography equipment as well as a wide array of scuba equipment. Fan. John was based out of Ardmore Pennsylvania. Interestingly I grew up not very far from more in a little town called Phoenix film in the nineteen fifties and sixties. It's really a small world just twenty miles away. The address offend John Was Ninety Cricket Avenue Ardmore Pennsylvania so just for fun I went to Google, maps to see what it looked like today. It's a nondescript brick building with a lawyer's office in it. I wonder what would make of it today? In an undated catalog from Fan John. Deere is a picture of the company and the building looks pretty much the same way did today. It's a little bit of a mystery as to exactly when Fan Johnson started fan. John. In all the material should Mac and provided from the earliest date materials nine, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, four. I also did some research on the Pennsylvania business entity site and the record show that Fen John Company Inc was established in nineteen, fifty seven and dissolved in one, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, nine. Not. Sure. Exactly. How accurate all that is, but there were two entries for fend. John. So little bit of a mystery there the nineteen fifty four catalogue is titled Fen John Underwater Photo and equipment company plus a nine hundred and fifty four advertisement in the May nineteen fifty four diver magazine also caused the company Fan John Underwater Photo and Equipment Company and the advertisement states that John is the largest and oldest underwater camera manufacturer in the world. That's a pretty bold statement. So I'm guessing, offend just kept evolving his original company the Mechanical Improvements Corporation into e R. Johnson laboratories and then into fend. John. That's just speculation on my part. So, what was John Offering in one, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, four. Well the first item in the catalog is defend John Bantam Sixteen millimeter underwater motion picture camera. It claims to have been successfully used by two navies and states that it's the first camera that an amateur can use. Equipped with a bell how sixteen millimeter motion. Picture camera that holds fifty feet of film. and. It's weighing in at twenty one pounds in air for the hefty price of one, thousand, nine, hundred and ninety dollars. So I was curious. What would that be in two thousand and twenty dollars? So I went to the Internet and according to a website called dollar times one, thousand, nine, hundred and ninety dollars in one, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty four would equate to nineteen thousand and ten dollars today. That's an expensive camera. The nineteen fifty four John Catalog also had a still camera and that was just going into production at the time. It also had an underwater exposure meter and underwater Tripod. And a housing for the camera that Hans Haas used for his Red Sea trip. As, for dive gear, he has the Aqualung for hundred and sixty dollars. A diving US pressure gauges, fins, and Fan is also distributing Pirelli and bell. Aqua dive suits and even has a compressor in the cattle on. The catalog is just sixteen pages long. By thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, six, defend John Catalog while it's still being looked, it's still at sixteen pages is packed with a lot more equipment and it has part numbers now on all the equipment. The cover shows a diver. After of woman underwater, she's not diving. She just sitting in the sand smiling. And a credit the photo having been taken in Florida's silver springs. The featured items are the fend John Gog. Ler His underwater still camera. It looks like he perfected the nineteen fifty, four camera. The cast aluminum housing the camera could be opened and closed in five seconds and could hold up to fifty pictures. The price remained the same at six, hundred, seventy, five dollars. The Bantam was also featured, but it wasn't called the Bantam in this catalogue, but the description and the price were exactly the same. Another new item that Fen Johnson was offering was defend John Universal housing. It claimed that it would accommodate any thirty five millimeter camera for a cost of sixty five dollars. But it would not be ready until March. John is also distributing a whole bunch of other housings and has a wide array of accessories for underwater photography. When you look at the diving equipment, his featuring the Scott Hydro pack for two hundred and fifty dollars. But now is offering six different aqualung setups from thirty eight cubic foot tanks two doubles. Fan. John also carries three North Hill setups and to diverg configurations. There are spear guns, more diving suits, morphines, masks, snorkels, including the Medusa Double Snorkel, three compressors, and so much more. You could see growth over two years. Oh and he states prices in this catalogue in cloud delivery anywhere in the USA. Fen John Prime except you don't have to pay ninety nine dollars. The last catalog that's shared with me is undated, and by this time, the company is simply known as John Company and a catalog is titled Underwater Equipment. In the forward fen rights. On the following pages, there is.

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