|Frank Meier spent his childhood close to New York's
East River. In most of his spare time he loafed around the city's diving
scows, listened to the tales of the divers, and by the time he was 12 he
had made up his mind to be a diver himself. He learned the trade in the
Navy, where he served ten years.
In 1908 he was appointed diver for New York's department of Docks and
Ferries, and in1915 he began a 15-year hitch with the largest salvage concern
in America. In 1930 he organized his own company, and he is still diving
for a living. He writes of divers and diving in a way that makes reading
his tales just like sitting down by the fire and listening to him tell
the exciting stories of salvage history. He knows his subject and his stories
are packed with - drama and danger and thrills. He has a gift for building
up an almost unbearable suspense that makes you want to peek ahead a few
pages to see how the adventure comes out.
[From the preface of Men Under the Sea]
Frank Meier's grandson writes: Grandpa, along with being US Navy, Master
Chief Diver for several years was reportedly both boxing and wrestling
champion of the Navy. He was missing a big toe reportedly bitten off by
a panda bear in an exihibition wrestling match in China, unsure of the
years. Like I said, this is just family folk lore.
||UP FOR AIR
From contributor MB: Not very easy to read, but never-the-less,
extremely exciting. The book provides an excellent insight into the life
of an early commercial diver. Excellent from an historical point of view.
Availability: rare, it appears now and then at auction
at the value of 800.00 USD. Info and photo acknowledge: MB
Appears to have been first published in 1940, and published
by E.P.Dutton & Co.Inc.
Articles based on some of the material in Up For Air
appeared serially in the Saturday Evening Post in the June 10,17 and 24,
In July 2009, a reprint was made available through modern
print-on-demand technology, in hardcover, photo far left. ISBN 10: 1578987555.
ISBN 13: 9781578987559
Publisher: Martino Fine Books. 2009 Reprint of the original
1940 edition. Hardbound. 287pp.
From the preface of the original 1940 edition: The story
you are about to read is a recital of my work for thirty-five years as
a diver, on many types of assignments and in many kinds of circumstances
and conditions. You will learn what I did; why, how, and for whom I did
it. You will lean about others, associated with me in this fascinating
profession, and some of their experiences. In giving you this account,
in this way, I sincerely hope that I shall have painted a picture which
will not only prove entertaining and instructive in itself, but will serve
to offset the all too many inaccuracies and false impressions created by
some whose experience is insufficient, or whose imaginations exceed their
knowledge of the subject.
Under-sea Salvage from Sailing Ships to the Normandie.
Published in 1943 by E.P.Dutton & Co. Inc., New York.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 319 p, twenty-four photographs.
Chapters include: Salvage Pioneers; Collisions and Fires
at Sea; Precious War Cargoes; Tragedy of the Maine; The Iron Duke, and
recovery of gold from the Egypt; The Sinking of the St. Paul and ther Normandie,
and subsequwent recovery; Second World ar salavge etc etc. [ps]
||MEN UNDER THE SEA
A Dell Adventure book. Softcover, medium format. Published
1948. Softcover, 6.75 x 7.75 inches tall; 144 pages.
From the preface:
"Here is a thrilling tale of men against the sea. Here
is a vivid picture of the excitements, the dangers, and the tragedies that
are a part of the lives of deep-sea divers. Here is fact as exciting as
fiction-written by no arm-chair sailor, but by a master diver with 43 years
of experience in working under water.
Here you can read of treasure hunts involving wealth
beyond a king's ransom. You can learn the tragic story of a salvage ship
blown to bits by a dynamite charge set off from her own deck. Here is the
story of the raising of the German fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow. And you
may shudder as you follow undersea fights with that scourge of the depths,
the octopus. Through it all you will get an accurate picture of the divers
and wreckers who work above and under the sea, facing death as a matter
of routine and never crying quits."
This book is actually a selection of 'many thrilling tales'
that were previously pubished in Up For Air and Fathoms Below.
No image - can anyone help?
||HURRICAN WARNING - Notable Storms Involving Sailing Ships on Our
Sea Coasts and Great Lakes.
E. P. Dutton & Co. New York, New York, U.S.A. 1st
Edition 1947. Hard cover, dust jacket, 14.5 x 21cm.
A FEW MORE PHOTOS
The majority of the above contribution on author Frank Meier comes courtesy
of his grandson Richard Meier, who writes:
My father, also Frank Meier, Jr. dove with his dad until he went to
college and became an electrical engineer about the time grandpa took up
writing. I sure wish we had more of his books left. I have the paperback,
Under The Sea, not in too good a shape. My sister has a rebound
Warnings but the rest of his books were loaned out over the years and
I know he was not a terrific writer but he told it all plain and straight
like it was. I barely remember him as he died when I was 2. I am glad there
are still folks who can enjoy reading about his experiences. Thank you
for maintaining your (web) site for all those who are interested in diving
Richard Meier, Andover, NJ USA
Indeed, thankyou Richard for your contribution. It is important to records
any information like this on past authors, and especially the excellent