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William Beebe (left) and Otis Barton standing next to the bathysphere
|Born||Frederick Otis Barton, Jr.|
(1899-06-05)June 5, 1899
New York, U.S.
|Died||April 15, 1992(1992-04-15) (aged 92)|
|Occupation||Deep-sea diver, inventor, actor|
Frederick Otis Barton, Jr. (June 5, 1899 – April 15, 1992) was an American deep-sea diver, inventor and actor.
Born in New York, the independently wealthy Barton designed the first bathysphere and made a dive with William Beebe off Bermuda in June 1930. They set the first record for deep-sea diving by descending 600 ft (180 m). In 1934, they set another record at 3,028 ft (923 m). Barton acted in the 1938 Hollywood movie, Titans of the Deep.
In 1949, Barton set a new world record with a 4,500 foot (1,372 m) dive in the Pacific Ocean, using his benthoscope (from the Greek benthos, meaning 'sea bottom', and scopein, 'to view'), which was designed by Barton and Maurice Nelles. Barton wrote the book The World Beneath the Sea, published in 1953. Like Beebe, Barton was also interested in exploring tropical rain forests, and spent considerable time in places like Gabon. In 1978, Barton successfully tested a "jungle spaceship" (actually an airship) that was intended to film wildlife.
Matsen, Bradford. Descent - The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, Pantheon Books, 2005. ISBN 0375422587 Matsen, Bradford. The Incredible Record-Setting Deep-Sea Dive of the Bathysphere. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0766021882 Otis Barton, "Adventure on land and under the sea", Longmans, London, 1954. Biography of Otis Barton on the website of the MIT School of Engineering