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History of Scuba Diving

Sourabh Gupta
Scuba diving has an amazing history that many enthusiasts know nothing about. Since 1535, when Guglielmo de Loreno invented a diving bell, there have been many advancements in the sport and its equipment. Let's get into the water.
The word Scuba is actually an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The technique is underwater diving that requires scuba sets to breathe underwater. It may be done for recreation, industrial or commercial purposes. Divers carry their own breathing gas in tanks.
Diving has been around from a long time. Many civilizations have been engaged in diving; for example, the ancient Greeks were known to be great divers. It dates back to 1535 when Guglielmo de Loreno invented a diving bell.
It was just like putting a bucket over someone's head, but Loreno soon realized that the bell wouldn't work as the oxygen present diminished fast. Even before Loreno, Leonardo da Vinci had designed an underwater apparatus, but it just remained on paper. It was in later years that many ideas were adopted from his design.


1535: Guglielmo de Loreno develops a diving bell.
1650: Guericke develops the first air pump.
1691: A diving bell, a weighted barrels, connected with an air pipe to the surface, is patented by Edmund Halley.
1715: Underwater cylinder which is supplied through an air pipe from the surface with compressed air, is invented by John Lethbridge.
1776: First submarine is used for military attack.
1843: The Royal Navy establishes the 1st diving school.
1865: An underwater breathing apparatus in patented by Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze. A steel tank filled with compressed air is strapped to the diver's back which is attached to a hose that pumps fresh air continuously.
1877: The first workable self contained rig using compressed oxygen is developed by Henry Fleuss.
1911: Dragger of Germany introduces an oxygen re-breather.
1924: World's first helium-oxygen experimental dives are conducted by the US Navy.
1925: Successful self-contained underwater breathing suit is introduced by Yves Le Prieur.
1933: Yves Le Prieur develops a demand valve with a high pressure tank, making the diver independent from hose connections. The same swim fins were patented by Louside Corlieu in France.
1943: Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan make Aqua Lung, a device that improves air supply for divers.
1951: Haas published 'Diving as Adventure', and many such publications followed.
1955: The first formal instructor certification program is created by Al Tillman and Bev Morgan.
1960: Al Tillman and Neal Hess establish National Association of Underwater Instructor (NAUI), the first such association, many more followed suit.
1962: Experiments in which people lived in underwater habitat are conducted.
1971: Scurbapro develops the Stabilization Jacket.
1983: Orca Edge, the first commercially available dive computer is introduced.
1985: Titanic wreck is found.
1990: More improvements and developments take place, making it a sport.
1999: Chuck Driver and John Bennett descend to 200 meters, the deepest oceanic dive ever.
2001: John Bennett breaks his own world record, with a dive to 308 meters.
The invention of swim fins, dive computers, masks, and other latest gear have made this an interesting adventurous sport. There are tourist places around the world which have their main income from tourists wanting to take the plunge. The developments are still on, and there's hope that this sport will get cheaper for everyone to afford.