Ice Diving in Tucker Lake, c.1960

 
Newspaper clipping from The Courier-Journal Magazine, January 24, 1960 shows filmmaker, Thomas Schmitt suiting up. (image courtesy of The Filson Historical Society)

Newspaper clipping from The Courier-Journal Magazine, January 24, 1960 shows filmmaker, Thomas Schmitt suiting up. (image courtesy of The Filson Historical Society)

 

Conservation & Caputre

Original format: 8mm film, silent.

Digital format: Footage captured at 2k resolution of 2048 x 1080.

Length/feet or running time: Approx. 125ft

Circa: Winter 1959-60

Status: Conservation & scan completed by Pro8mm. Archive.org upload coming soon.

 

Grantee

The Filson Historical Society is Kentucky’s oldest privately supported historical society, founded in 1884. The organization has been collecting and preserving Kentucky and the Ohio Valley region’s significant stories for over 130 years.

 

Film/filmmaker

The film’s creator is Thomas L. Schmitt, a member of the Kentuckiana Scuba-Diving Club (founded in 1959). In the winter of 1960, he and other members of the club, wishing to experiment with cold-water diving and underwater photography, cut through the ice in Tucker Lake and made the film now in the Filson’s collection. The lake, a former quarry located in southeastern Jefferson County, Kentucky, was at that time a summertime destination for swimming and recreation. The recreational facilities have since been removed, and a housing development now encircles the lake. The film captures scenes above and under the ice, the divers excitedly exploring the lakebed and locating unusual objects.