37. Who was ER Fenimore Johnson – Part One and Sea Hunt It’s Still Alive – The Defector from 1961



ER Fenimore Johnson was a pioneer in underwater photography. He was born in 1899. His father was the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. Fen Johnson worked for the company until it merged with RCA in 1927. Fen got involved in diving using a Miller and Dunn shallow water helmet first to clear lines around the propeller of his yacht and later to do underwater photography. His company Mechanical Improvements Company created underwater photography equipment including still and motion picture cameras. With the onset of World War II, Fen Johnson was commissioned in the US Navy and worked with the Bureau of Ordinance – Mine Countermeasure Research Branch.

Fenimore Johnson was put to work developing cameras to document and assess damage to ships, identify mines underwater and study cavitation of propellers. He donated the use of his company’s staff and yacht to the war effort. His company build the Model A25 camera for the Navy.

After the war, ER Fenimore Johnson continued to work with the Navy as a reserve officer. We will pick up next time with the work he did the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team.

In this installment of Sea Hunt It’s Still Alive we review an episode from season 4 titled “The Defector”. In this episode Mike is on vacation in the Bahamas when he takes on training a guy. Mike has to solve the mystery of why this guy needs to learn to dive. Could it be an insurance play or something else? Tune in and find out.


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