The world is over 70% water so no wonder we have always wanted to explore more of it. This post will cover the history of diving, where is begun, how technology has grown over the years and what the future holds.
- The history of underwater diving starts with free diving as a widespread means of hunting and gathering, both for food and other valuable resources such as pearls and coral,
- In 1602, the Spanish military engineer Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont developed the first documented diving dress.
- Two English inventors developed diving suits in the 1710s. John Lethbridge built a completely enclosed suit to aid in salvage work. It consisted of a pressure-proof air-filled barrel with a glass viewing hole and two watertight enclosed sleeves. After testing this machine in his garden pond specially built for the purpose, Lethbridge dived on a number of wrecks.
- The first successful diving helmets were produced by the brothers Charles and John Deane in the 1820s.
- Early attempts at creating systems that would allow divers to carry a portable oxygen source did not succeed, as the compression and storage technology was not advanced enough to allow compressed air to be stored in containers at sufficiently high pressures.
- An early diving dress using a compressed air reservoir was designed and built in 1771 by Sieur Fréminet of Paris who conceived an autonomous breathing machine equipped with a reservoir, dragged behind the diver or mounted on his back.
- An important step in the development of open circuit scuba technology was the invention of the demand regulator in 1864 by the French engineers Auguste Denayrouze and Benoît Rouquayrol. Their suit was the first to supply air to the user by adjusting the flow according to the diver’s requirements.
- In the 1960s adjustable buoyancy life jackets became available.
- Late 19th century: Industry began to be able to make high-pressure air and gas cylinders.
- 1893: Louis Boutan invented the first underwater camera and made the first underwater photographs.
- 2006 August 1: A US Navy diver in an ADS 2000 atmospheric suit established a new depth record of 2,000 feet
- 2012 March: Canadian film director James Cameron piloted the Deepsea Challenger 10,898.4 metres (35,756 feet) to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean.
- 2016 September: First prototype, for scientific research purposes, of an underwater navigation system that guides divers visualizing his/her georeferenced position within the 3d map of the underwater site displayed on a tablet device