Did you know William Beebe or Blair Niles or others mentioned in web site?
I am writing a book about William Beebe and the goal of this web site is for me to get in touch with people who knew either Beebe or his first wife! Please email me if you have any stories, anecdotes, letters, and/or photos! I would like to use them for my book on William Beebe! My email address is: beebebarton @ aol.com (with no spaces/to avoid spam).
Please contact me if you would like to loan or donate photos or other items.
Who's William Beebe?
William Beebe (1877-1962) was a famous American naturalist, author and scientist. While already somewhat famous from his fiction books about his expeditions and adventures, William Beebe became world famous in 1932 when he descended in a metal sphere called a Bathysphere, with its inventor Otis Barton. Before their dive to a half mile (3,028 feet) beneath the surface of the ocean, the previous depth was only a few feet. Beebe and Barton put their lives on the line by exploring the deep ocean in such an experimental device of their own design. While under the ocean they observed sea creatures that no one had ever seen alive. Beebe had seen many of the creatures, but in poor condition, after he had pulled them up in his nets while trawling for them off a research boat.
Not many scientists of that era danced in jazz clubs, had bitter public divorces, ventured into an active volcano or wrote popular fiction books about his scientific exploits. Many other scientists ridiculed his observations from the Bathysphere dives. They made fun of his dynamic writing and penchant for "spicing it up." Other, more contemporary scientists called Beebe the "Cousteau of their Generation" and went on to pursue careers in science. Many teachers and book reviewers claimed that his writing essays were examples of classic American literature and taught them in their classroom.
Besides searching for personal information, this web site is a humble attempt to help students with research papers about him or to illuminate his long exciting life.
All content, text and photographs are copyrighted 2000-2012 and may not be re-used; some photos were used with the permisison of the National Geographic Society and have been indicated as such. Last updated March 2012.