Historic Timeline


Men and women have practiced breath-hold diving for thousands of years. We know this because undersea artifacts have been found on land and there are depictions of divers in ancient drawings. This type of diving is still practiced today. Drawing of an antiquated diving  bell

1535 - Guglielmo de Loreno developed what is considered to be a true diving bell. Lethbridge's diving suit

1691 - Edmund Halley patented a diving bell in which air pressure provided from the surface kept the water from entering the bell.

1715 - An English diver by the name of John Lethbridge invented a leather and wooden diving suit.

1837 - August Siebe designed the hard-hat (heavy-diving) rig, which became familiar to most of us through Hollywood’s early underwater movies. A diver had to wear a helmet, usually made of copper or brass, containing a viewing window, and then fitted on a watertight collar on the suit.

1930s - Guy Gilpatric pioneered the use of rubber goggles with glass lenses for skin diving. By the mid-1930s, face masks, fins, and snorkels were in common use.

1942-43 - 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. The Aqua Lung was born.

1990s - An estimated 500,000 new scuba divers are certified yearly in the U.S., new scuba magazines form and scuba travel is big business. There is an increase of diving by non-professionals who use advanced technology, including mixed gases, full face masks, underwater voice communication, propulsion systems, and so on.