The establishment of the Undersea Post office was a great achievement for The Bahamas. On August
16th 1939 ,The Williamson photosphere became the home of the world’s first Undersea Post Office.
Called Seafloor, the institution was located off Hog Island now called Paradise Island. Many
dignitaries such as Princess Margaret, the Duke of Windsor and Alexander Graham Bell, the
inventor of the telephone visited the post office during its existence. The Post Office operated during
the fall of 1939 and for a brief period in May 1940.
John Earnest Williamson, the inventor of photo-sphere, was born to Charles and Sarah Williamson
on the 8th of December 1881 in Liverpool, England. At the age of six he and his parents migrated to
Norfolk Virginia, U.S.A. In February 1928, at the age of 47, he married Lilah Sylvia Freeland. The
couple had two children. Between 1897-1908 Williamson was a machine draftsman and pattern
maker at the Newport news Shipbuilding. During the years 1908 -1913 he worked as a newspaper
cartoonist and photographer with the Virginian Pilot and the Philadelphia record respectively. He was
the first man to produce undersea photographs in 1913 and undersea motion pictures in 1914. The latter was produced in The Bahamas.
Williamson wrote many articles for scientific American, the New York Times, Science and
Intervention and the London Illustrated News. He also conducted many undersea expeditions such
as the Field Museum-Williamson Undersea Expedition, Bahamas 1929 and The Bahamas -
Williamson Undersea Expedition in 1939.