After their record-breaking descent of 1934, Beebe lost interest in diving and moved on to other adventures, but Barton persevered. To his credit, Beebe always told anyone who asked that Barton was the real brains behind the enterprise, but Barton seemed unable to step from the shadows. He, too, wrote thrilling accounts of their underwater adventures and even starred in a Hollywood movie called Titans of the Deep, featuring a bathysphere and many exciting and largely fictionalized encounters with aggressive giant squid and the like. He even advertised Camel cigarettes ("They don't give me jittery nerves"). In 1948 he increased the depth record by 50 percent, with a dive to 4,500 feet in the Pacific Ocean near California, but the world seemed determined to overlook him. One newspaper reviewer of Titans of the Deep actually thought the star of the film was Beebe. Nowadays, Barton is lucky to get a mention.
At all events, he was about to be comprehensively eclipsed by a father-and-son team from Switzerland, Auguste and Jacques Piccard, who were designing a new type of probe called a bathyscaphe (meaning "deep boat"). Christened Trieste, after the Italian city in which it was built, the new device maneuvered independently, though it did little more than just go up and down. On one of its first dives, in early 1954, it descended to below 13,287 feet, nearly three times Barton's record-breaking dive of six years earlier. But deep-sea dives required a great deal of costly support, and the Piccards were gradually going broke.