History of Scuba Diving

  • Feb 1, 1534

    332 BCE

    332 BCE
    Attempts at being able to breathe under water, a fundamental part of SCUBA, have been going on for a very long time, such as using hollow reeds. However this is the first instance in which a real form of 'scuba' was used when Alexander the Great used a primitive form of diving bell.
  • Period: Feb 1, 1534 to

    Progression of SCUBA diving

  • Feb 1, 1535

    First diving bell

    First diving bell
    Guglielmo de Lorena created what could be considered the first real diving bell, it had just enough oxygen to let the diver breathe for short amounts of time.
  • In the Presence of Royalty

    In the Presence of Royalty
    Charles V, along with countless other citizens observed as two men used a bronze diving bell in the Tagus River (Toledo) to stay submurged for 20 minutes.
  • New Bell

    New Bell
    Sir Edmund Halley, Pattented a new form of diving bell, the actual inventor is a little bit of a shady area, however the bell's design included, thick glass to let light in, it was coated with lead sheets, the barrel was able to be replenished air, three auxiliary ballast weights, individual bells, fastened to diver’s shoulders and connected with a pipe to the main bell, that allowed him to walk away for unlimited time without returning for rebreathing.
  • New technology to be applied

    New technology to be applied
    Von Guericke created the first effective air pump
  • Treasure

    William Phipps used the diving bell designed by Galilei and Papin to excavate a sunken treasure from a wrecked ship.
  • Medical

    Medical
    Robert Boyle investigated decompression sickness or 'the bends' using a snake.
  • Diving Engine

    Diving Engine
    John Lethbridge created a 'diving engine', which was an underwater oak cylinder.
  • Diving Suit

    English inventor, Becker demonstrates his new invention: a full, leather diving suit and large, spherical metal helmet with a window. Three tubes lead from the helmet to the surface, one for exhaled air and the other two for fresh air pumped down by several large bellows
  • New Bells

    New Bells
    Edmund Halley invented two types of bells: a wooden bell, assisted with two barrels with fresh air that reached the bell with a tube, and a lead bell. The latter had seats for several divers. Halley, along with 4 others stayed submerged for 90 minutes at 18 meters of depth.
  • The French

    The French
    A Frenchman named Freminet produces a crude brass diving helmet with eye holes. Air is supplied by a bellows into a small air reservoir, then pumped down to the diver.
  • Submarine

    Submarine
    The first submarine was used in a military attack
  • Improvements

    Improvements
    John and William Braithwaite made improvements on the Freminet helmet.
  • Helmet

    Helmet
    Klingert made improvements on Freminet's helmet design.
  • Modern Diving bell

    Modern Diving bell
    John Smeaton improved the diving bell, including a bell made from cast iron; the first efficient hand-operated pump to sustain the air supply via a hose; an air reservoir system and nonreturn valves to keep air from being sucked back up the hoses when the pump stops.
  • Submarine

    Submarine
    Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat, builds an early submarine, the Nautilus
  • Fire

    Charles Anthony and John Deane patent a Helmet for Fire fighters
  • SCUBA suit

    Englishman William H. James designs a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, where the user wears a helmet and carries a supply of oxygen.
  • Fire to water

    Charles Anthony and John Deane market their helmet with a diving suit.
  • Death by SCUBA

    Death by SCUBA
    Charles Condert develops a type of scuba in which air is stored in a copper pipe worn around the body, he dies while testing this.
  • Siebe Improved Diving Dress

    Siebe Improved Diving Dress
    Augustus Siebe, a German instrument maker, refines and improves the Deane's diving suit design and introduces the "Siebe Improved Diving Dress"
  • through 1842

    through 1842
    Siebe's suit was used for underwater recovery missions, bringing diving into more popularity.
  • Schooling is Important

    Schooling is Important
    The Royal Navy established the first diving school
  • Improvements

    Improvements
    An improved scuba outfit is developed by Frenchmen Benoit Rouquayrot and Auguste Denayrouze, it was created to get air from the surface through a tube, as well as to have a minute supply in the suit.
  • Recycle

    Recycle
    English seaman Henry Fleuss invents a compact, lightweight scuba that uses pure compressed oxygen and a system to "reuse" the air that the diver exhales by removing the carbon dioxide from it and recirculating it back to the diver over and over again.
  • Decompression Sickness

    Decompression Sickness
    Paul Bert publishes a textbook, La Pression Barometrique, based on his studies of the physiological effect of changes in pressure. Bert shows that decompression sickness is caused by the formation of gas bubbles in the body, and suggests that gradual ascent will prevent decompression sickness
  • Photography

    Photography
    Louis Boutan invented the first underwater camera
  • Studious

    Studious
    Detailed studies on the cause and symptoms on decompression sickness were published by John Scott Haldane, Arthur E. Boycott and Guybon C. Damant.
  • Draeger

    Draeger
    Draeger of Germany introduces an oxygen re-breather.
  • Decompression Tables

    Decompression Tables
    The U.S. Navy tested decompression tables published by John Scott Haldane, Arthur E. Boycott and Guybon C. Damant.
  • V

    V
    The Mark V Diving Helmet was introduced by the U.S. Bureau of Construction & Repair.
  • Color

    Color
    W. H. Longley became famous for the first underwater color photos.
  • Breathe

    Breathe
    A very successful self-contained underwater breathing unit is introduced by Yves Le Prieur
  • Bathysphere

    Bathysphere
    A bathysphere attached to a barge by a steel cable to the mother ship has been used for William Beebe descended to 435 meter
  • Facemasks

    Facemasks
    Rubber goggles with glass lenses are developed by Guy Gilpatric
  • Improvement

    Improvement
    Yves Le Prieur develops a demand valve with a high pressure air tank.
  • Swim Fins

    Swim Fins
    Swim fins are patented by Louisde Corlieu in France
  • Naval

    During World War II, closed circuit scuba equipment are used by Italian divers to place explosives under British naval and merchant marine ships
  • Car

    Car
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan redesigned a car regulator that would automatically provide compressed air to a diver on his slightest intake of breath.
  • Lung

    Lung
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan designed and tested the first Aqua-Lung.
  • Bathyscaphe

    Bathyscaphe
    A completely self-contained new type of vessel called the bathyscaphe was designed by August Picard and his son Jacques to go deeper than any bathysphere
  • J

    J
    The Reserve Valve, later commonly known as "J" valve was developed
  • Instructor

    The first formal instructor certification program was created by Al Tillman and Bev Morgan
  • Wetsuit

    Wetsuit
    At the University of California the first wetsuit is introduced by scientists
  • Certification

    YMCA organized the first nationally scuba diver certification program and the Underwater Society of America was formed
  • NAUI

    NAUI
    Al Tillman and Neal Hess create the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI).
  • NASDS

    NASDS
    The National Association of Skin Diving Schools (NASDS) was founded by John Gaffney
  • PADI

    PADI
    The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) was founded by John Cronin and Ralph Ericson
  • SSI

    SSI
    Bob Clark founded Scuba Schools International (SSI).
  • Stabilization

    Stabilization
    Scubapro introduces the Stabilization Jacket
  • DAN

    DAN
    Divers Alert Network (DAN) was founded at Duke University to promote safe diving
  • Orca Edge

    Orca Edge
    The first commercially available dive computer, the Orca Edge, was introduced.
  • Titanic

    Titanic
    The wreck of the Titanic was found.
  • Recreation

    The use of mixed gases, like Oxygen and Helium, full face masks, underwater voice communication, propulsion systems, computer, etc. became more common in the 1990s.
  • TDI

    TDI
    Bret Gilliam and Mitch Skaggs formed Technical Diving International (TDI)
  • SDI

    SDI
    Scuba Diving International (SDI) was created
  • Future

    Future
    Technology and the community for SCUBA is continuously growing and improving.