In 1914, J.Ernest and George M. Williamson established the Submarine Film Corporation. They devised a special observation chamber called the “photosphere” that could descend up to 150 feet and had a small window for shooting.
Some of their films:
Thirty Leagues under the Sea (1914)
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
The Submarine Eye (1917)
A Deep-Sea Tragedy (1917)
Girl of the Sea (1920)
Wet Gold (1921)
Wonders of the Sea (1922) – part fiction, part autobiographical documentary
The Uninvited Guest (1924) – in Technicolor
Field Museum-Williamson Undersea Expedition to the Bahamas (1929) – brought his daughter, Sylvia in the photosphere.
With Williamson beneath the Sea (1932) – a documentary on his work, also with Sylvia
Williamson’s photosphere, and his films, helped to spur a whole underwater film genre.
More information can be found in Brian Taves’s article: “With Williamson Beneath the Sea.” Journal of Film Preservation, Volume XXV No 52 (April 1996).