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History of Diving Gear

    Early Gear

    • Around 1300, divers made goggles out of thinly sliced turtle shells. In the 16th century, wood barrels were used as simple diving shells.

    Air Pumps

    • John Smeaton invented the air pump in 1721. This device pumped air from a tank (wood) to the diver. Sieur Freminet invented the first air recycling device in 1772, but died after being in his prototype for 20 minutes.

    Rigid Suits

    • Benoit Rouquayrol developed the rigid diving suite in 1873. This suit had a safer air supply for deeper diving. It weighed almost 200 pounds.

    Harry Houdini

    • Harry Houdini invented a device to allow divers to escape from their suits quickly in the event of an emergency. He invented the device in 1921.

    Modern Gear

    • A modern suit has one or more air tanks connected to a hose that runs to the diver's mouth. A demand regulator controls air flow to the diver, and equalizes air pressure between the divers lungs and the surrounding water. Modern, flexible wetsuits are the choice of the majority of casual divers.

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