Bruce Mozert

1916 –  2015

The Pioneer Of Underwater Photography

He was considered to be a pioneer of underwater photography  and his images of Silver Springs, Florida, were widely circulated during the early and mid 20th century.

In 1938, while he was on an assignment to photograph women’s shoes in Miami, Florida, Mozert heard about the filming of one of Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan movies in Silver Springs. He traveled to meet the cast and ended up staying in Ocala, becoming the official photographer of Silver Springs for the next 45 years. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during part of World War II and there learned aerial photography.

Mozert took advantage of the extremely clear water of Silver Springs by taking underwater photographs with specially constructed waterproof camera housings. He built his first such housing in the early 1940s. The novelty and clarity of his underwater photographs were major advertisements for Silver Springs and the distribution of the photos over wire services helped the attraction bring in visitors from 1940 to 1970.

Most of his photographs feature submerged women doing ordinary tasks that would be done on land, such as cooking, reading newspapers and mowing lawns. Most of the women were actually employees of Silver Springs and one of his most frequently shot models, Ginger Stanley, was an underwater stunt double for Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Physical tricks were often used to make the underwater scenes appear more realistic. He also took underwater movie stills for the many productions filmed in Silver Springs.

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