USA Diary ———————————————–Sudhir Jain.
In the 12th Aug. 2011 issue of PHILAMIRROR, I had seen a small write up titled as “here was once an underwater post office in the Bahamas”. Since then I was trying to know much more about this. Fortunately now I am visiting Bahamas and enquired about the same. Although it had been closed long ago, but I could gather some details of it.The Bahamas was the first country to have an underwater post office from the year 1939 to 1940. This seafloor post office was actually a submarine sphere used for filming underwater scenes. Basically meant for tourists, this seafloor post office allowed tourists to get a breathtaking view of marine sea life and send a souvenir postcard home with a special post mark “Sea Floor / Bahamas” printed on it.Captain J.E Williamson started this underwater post office. He was pioneer in undersea photography and also deeply involved in the production of a number of motion pictures under the Sea. His father invented a tube that could stretch to depths of 200 feet below the surface. Williamson himself added a round chamber with a thick glass window and used this chamber to take photographs of undersea creatures. In the year 1939, this photosphere was transformed into an underwater post office by the name of \”Sea Floor Bahamas.\”
In the year 1965, the Bahamas Postal department issued a definitive set.Williamson’s photosphere and the 1939 Sea Floor post office were depicted on the five-shilling denomination stamp of this set. The same pictures were used again in year 1966 and 1967 on new definitive stamps also.