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Scuba Diving History

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Jacques Cousteau

After World War II, Jacques Cousteau devoted himself to ocean exploration. He bought the Calypso, a minesweeper, and sailed it around all of the globe, even the Antarctic Circle. He carried out experiments and collected data, which he used for the Calypso-Phot underwater camera and the SP-350 deep-sea 2-man submarine.

Cousteau began to research the aqua lung, which is a new breathing apparatus. Although this apparatus was able to allow Cousteau to breathe in controlled air, it was only suited for shallow diving. In order to discover the depths of the oceans, Cousteau knew that he needed a better way to regulate the flow of air. He developed the demand regulator through his experiments, which allowed air only to move according to demand. This invention would enable divers to extend their air supply and help them avoid decompression syndrome.

Yves le Prieur

Yves le Prieur scuba diving dates back to the very beginning of the 1900s. He invented the fullface mask, which had a loose frontplate and was used as a diaphragm to regulate demand. His next invention, the diving regulator.

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1933 saw the invention of the first scuba diving device. This device combined the Fernez-Le-Prieur air supply system with the demand regulator invented by Denayrouze and Rouquayrol. This device changed the face of scuba diving by making underwater respirators affordable and more accessible. This was what led to recreational scuba.

Guy Gilpatric

Guy Gilpatric is a pioneer in scuba divership history. The first sport diving manual was written by him, and his articles for The Saturday Evening Post were among the first to cover scuba diving. He was fascinated by the sea and the natural world and decided to travel the Mediterranean to write about it. The book is credited as inspiring Jacques Cousteau. He would go on later to create modern scubadiving.

The modern scuba dive apparatus was invented in the 20th century. Guy Gilpatric (an American marine biologist) invented a system which allowed divers to breath air without having to use surface air. Later, Yves Le Prier invents an underwater system for self-contained breathing. The scuba rig was quickly popularized by Owen Churchill after he sold it to him. Guy Gilpatric later developed rubber goggles featuring glass lenses, face masks and snorkels as well as swim fins and a high pressure air tank.

Yves Gagnan

In the beginning of the century, scuba divers had to rely on helmets, diving bells, and air hoses from the surface. Yves Gagnan (Parisian engineer) helped them to create a demand valve system. The new device was capable of providing compressed air on-demand and could adjust to the pressure of surrounding water. This discovery made it possible to explore all the oceans for everyone.

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Gagnan was a French citizen, born in Burgundy, France in 1900. After graduating college, he began working for Air Liquide where he studied high-pressure pneumatic design. This was the beginning of modern scuba equipment.


Scuba Diving History