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Updated: August 25, 2023

"Voyage to Bottom of The Sea" Original screen-used Scuba-Dive Gear ( Breathing hoses and mouth-apparatus ) 3-piece lot. Rare original find, from the famous "Secret Ranch" ( the largest Irwin Allen original production memorabilia discovery in history ) 1993. Here's another totally unique, rare and very crazy, Irwin Allen production-used relic:

We, and everyone we know in the Hollywood memorabilia community, that we have shown this vintage television artifact lot to, especially with the extensive "Secret Ranch" backstory, are 99% positive that this is an original set of "Scuba-Dive Gear, consisting of "2" Breathing hoses & "1" Mouth-apparatus", from the classic Irwin Allen Feature Film and / or Television Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Background History:

This piece, along with 95% of the Irwin Allen Jupiter-2, Seaview and Spindrift set-dressing control panels, speakers, etc. that has been sold on the Hollywood memorabilia circuit over the past decade, was found at the legendary "Secret Ranch," located at one time in South-Eastern California in the early 1990's.

This location yielded the largest discovery of original Irwin Allen screen-used original set dressing ( along with Planet of the Apes and numerous other 20th Century Fox productions ) ever found in Hollywood memorabilia history. They had been considered lost and or destroyed for well over 25 years before being discovered.

The discovery of and the subsequent battle over these and many other lost television and feature film artifacts found at "The Secret Ranch," was reminiscent of the fictional rivalry between the characters Indiana Jones & the evil Dr. Rene "Belloq" of Raiders of the Lost Ark. A bitter battle which raged for well over a decade, between two rival Hollywood Memorabilia collectors, one being James Latta ( who has been called the "Indiana Jones of Hollywood memorabilia" in the press ), and his rival - who shall remained un-named here...( but obviously, he was the "evil" one ).

"The Secret Ranch" was a massive, remote storage facility made up of five, 100 ft. long chicken coop barns, which contained well over 500+ individual pieces of film and television production memorabilia, including full-size vehicles ( boats, a locomotive from "Von Ryan's Express", horse-drawn carriages, sleighs, etc. ), miniatures ( including the 10 ft. Jupiter-2 and pieces from "Tora, Tora, Tora", the 40 ft. battleship miniature that John Wayne commanded in "In Harm's Way" ), furniture ( including from the sets of "Apes City" in "Planet of the Apes" ), signage, and other set dressing from hundreds of movies and TV shows. Many of these historic pieces were unidentified and at any moment could have discarded or destroyed. Many, just prior to being discovered, researched, authenticated and in many cases, set for restoration and / or preservation by J. Latta, could have been discarded or destroyed at anytime.

The owner of the location was an eccentric collector, entrepreneur, rancher and jet-pilot, who planned on using these pieces mentioned above to decorate a chain of restaurants, long before Planet Hollywood ( who eventually bought the entire contents of "The Secret Ranch", after James Latta's discovery. Latta was one of the lead researchers and acquisition specialists for Planet Hollywood from their first location until their last ).

The eccentric rancher bought the majority of his collection of Hollywood memorabilia at the renown "Studio Back-Lot Auctions" of the early 1970's. After the introduction of televisions into millions of homes across the USA, the subsequent Movie Studio reaction was to produce huge "epic movies" such as the mega-budgeted "Cleopatra", etc. the Movie Studios almost went bust, so they began to sell off their production-used assets ( including their historic memorabilia ) in massive public auctions and "lot-sales". Note: Eventually the Studios would address the television issue, by acquiring various Television Networks and TV Studios.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, original Scuba-Dive Gear, consisting of 2 breathing hoses and 1 mouth-apparatus manufactured by "VOIT". Please note in the photographs depicted above, the very visible "VOIT" logo on the mouth apparatus which the 2 breathing hoses are attached to, and compare this logo, with enhanced close-up photograph of a Diver from a scene in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and the VOIT logo clearly visible on his mouth-apparatus.

This piece was found at "The Secret Ranch" in a crate a long with a yellow painted mini-oxygen tank from the classic Science Fiction film, "The Fantastic Voyage" and in the vicinity of a ridiculously large Hypodermic Needle from "Land of the Giants". With the advent of color Television, one of Irwin Allen's key-production design elements that he utilized in every Science Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure Television series that he produced, was to utilize vivid colors to brighten sets, costumes, and props. As is evident in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", where even the Dive Suits were bright colors.

Coming across this rarely seen piece of original "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" production memorabilia was intriguing to say the least. It was the sincere hope, upon pulling it out of a mixture of assorted Studio epherma, that the Scuba-Gear would prove to be authentic. Needless to say, when comparing the mouth-piece apparatus to the black & white photo depicted below, was an exciting moment. As you can see by the photos of the item, it shows approximately 40 years of natural aging. It was no doubt, also weathered from use underwater during filming. It may be able to be cleaned to an extent, but needs to be placed in a professional museum quality display case, shadowbox or frame. Comes with a Letter of Authenticity on Museum of Science Fiction & Fantasy ( the planned, but never realized Museum ), hand-signed by noted Hollywood Memorabilia authority, James Latta ( now retired ).

( * ) Many thanks to "ToyHawks" for this info and photos!

Value: $200.

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