I only went on the diving bell once, but knew the routine. My date didn't. So I quickly got in line and in the bell with her before she knew how it came back up. It was pulled to the bottom with steel cables, and when ready to surface they simply released the brakes on the cable and it would quickly bob to the surface. Many screams, including my date! And they had a microphone in it so all those at the top could hear it all.
Jean Shropshire Harris peers out of a port hole in the Steel Peer's Diving Bell. (Photo courtesy of Murray and Jean Shropshire Harris.)
The Diving Bell emerging from the water. I can almost hear the screams. (Photo courtesy of Google Images.)