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Diving History - Brook Bond Tea

Another fascinating card collection on the history of Diving.


 

The following Information was taken from the Brooke Bond Picture Card Series

1. Naked Divers

Man soon found that the sea could supply him with food. At first food gathering was confined to collecting mussels from rocks exposed at low tide and heaps of shells are often found near traces of seashore camps of early civilisations. But tastier foods were underwater and beyond reach of arms and sticks. So men began to dive down for them despite their blurred vision underwater. Main target for the food divers were oysters, which the ancient Greeks greatly enjoyed. Not being able to see clearly added to the danger from razor sharp growths or the teeth of moray eels.

2. Imperial Purple

Food was not the only thing that man found he could get from the sea. The Phoenicians used Murex, a kind of sea snail, to dye cloth. Their dye 'factories' consumed these snails in enormous quantities. There are hills outside Tyre and Sidon today which are solid murex shells! The dye a yellowish substance is secreted in a gland in a cavity behind the snail's head. When boiled the fluid turned into a dark red or purple dye. The Romans allowed only Senators and Emperors to wear the expensive purple cloth. Today purple is still considered an' Imperial' colour .

3. Escape!

Almost all early attempts to breathe underwater employed a long tube up to the surface. All failed because you cannot draw air down a long tube while underwater the weight of atmospheric pressure plus water pressure makes breathing more than a few inches under the surface impossible. Our lungs cannot operate under this pressure. But breathing through a hollow reed when just under the surface was possible and many escapes from pursuers are said to have been made in this way in many parts of the world. Not to mention its regular use in adventure films for tv or cinema!

4. Barrels of Air

Edmund Halley, the astronomer of Halley's Comet fame, seems to have been the first to overcome the main disadvantage of the early diving bells they had to be pulled to the surface every so often so that the air inside could be renewed. In the early 1700's he arranged for weighted watertight barrels to be sent down to the bottom beside the bell. Tubes led from these barrels to the diving bell. Air could then be fed upwards from the barrel into the bell as required by the divers. The fish shown close to the wreck is a skate.

5. Hard Hat Diver

The history of diving took a decided turn for the better with the arrival in London in 1816 of Augustus Siebe, a naturalised British subject. By 1837 he had turned the diving helmet into a helmet attached to a full suit. And the 'hardhat' diver that we know today was in being. He was free to move about the seabed as far as airline and safety line would allow. Siebe's diving suit, with modifications, is in use by professional divers today. Note the conger eel in the wreckage congers can be nine feet long and weigh over 150 lbs.

6.Almost Free

Divers were still tethered to the surface pump which provided the vital air supply. But two Frenchmen came very close to inventing the equipment which would give the world 'free diving'. Between 1860 and 1875 Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze produced diving gear complete with regulator and a metal cylinder for the diver's back containing air under pressure. But the air still had to be kept at pressure by a surface pump. The diver could detach the surface tube and become 'free' for just a few minutes. The equipment was used for sponge diving in the Aegean with some success.

7. Rolling Along

In New Jersey, in 1897, Simon Lake built the second version of his Argonaut submarine. She was really more of a bottom crawler than a submarine, complete with seven foot wheels driven by a petrol engine. The 35 foot long boat had to have an air hose to the surface to allow the engine to work. A novel feature of the Argonaut was an airlock through which a diver could go out and explore the area immediately around the ship. But the Argonaut could move around underwater Simon Lake and four others went on a 2,OOO mile underwater tour of shallow bays.

8. Midget Submarines

The Second World War produced the miniature submarine, the forerunner of today's peaceful midget research submarines. One of the most dramatic of the wartime stories of these midget submarines was that of the Royal Navy's X7, one of six small submarines which set off to attack the German battleship Tirpitz in a Norwegian fiord. Despite getting stuck for a time in the strong nets which protected the battleship, X7 managed to get under Tirpitz and drop two two ton delayed action charges of explosives. The Tirpitz was so damaged that she took no further active part in the war.

9. Free Diver

Despite his occupation with submarines, man had not completely forgotten the dream of becoming a fish. In 1926 Captain Yves Le Prieur of the French Navy produced a useable free diving apparatus. In 1933 he demonstrated his improved model. A mask covered the whole face, a bottle of compressed air was slung around the diver's waist, though it could be worn on the back, and the air supplied from the bottle could be breathed through either nose or mouth. Le Prieur's Nautilus gun was used with his apparatus. The gun fired a spear by means of a blank cartridge.

10. Fishman

In a cove near Bandol in the South of France in June, 1943, the 'fishman' was born. The cove was chosen by Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau for his first dive with his new equipment to conceal his activities from the Italian troops who occupied this part of wartime France. Cousteau had tried using oxygen underwater and nearly died. Finally he turned to compressed air and with the help of Emile Gagnan, an expert on industrial gas equipment, perfected the modern demand valve, which gives the diver air at the correct pressure for his depth. Now at last man was free to join the fishes.

11. Ancient Wrecks

From the Cousteau Gagnan equipment came the big breakthrough into the undersea world. The helmet diver, tethered by his airline to a boat on the surface had seen very little. Now men ranged freely over the seabed and made discovery after discovery. Before their eyes, was the evidence of man's long association with the sea ancient shipwrecks with their cargoes of ancient winejars, called amphorae, still stacked as they had been when the ship left port. The fish near the wreck is a stingray. A spine on the tail can inflict serious injury.

12.  Hans Hass

Hans Hass of Austria is one of the great names in the early exploration of the underwater world. Hass, unlike Cousteau and his compressed air equipment, at first used oxygen rebreather diving apparatus. This apparatus has a builtin danger to its users oxygen becomes toxic to man at certain pressures and has caused several deaths. Hans Hass with his attractive wife, Lotte, who became the star of many of her husband's underwater films, were among the first to swim among sharks, manta rays and barracuda in tropical seas which, until then, had been considered certain death for the swimmer.

13. Shy Octopus

One of the first myths to be destroyed by man's new ability to swim with the fishes was that of the 'killer' octopus. In reality the octopus turned out to be shy and retiring. Cousteau's divers, operating from the research ship, Calypso, found that octopuses could be stroked and generally taught to regard man as a friend. The Mediterranean octopus rarely measured more than six feet in diameter from tentacle tip to tip and weighed only a few pounds. Even the giant octopuses of Puget Sound, USA weighing up to 125 pounds and 20 feet in diameter were shy and retiring.

14. Whale Shark

There are sharks and sharks. The whale shark can reach a length of 60 feet, and unlike its cousins is comparatively harmless as it feeds only on plankton and small fish. Hans Hass photographed one underwater in the Red Sea and most sightings have been from Africa and Australia. Ben Cropp, who is one of Australia's leading underwater photographers, is one of the few who have encountered the whale shark underwater and been able to film it. He and George Meyer of Canberra finally located a 35 foot long specimen and actually rode on the shark's back during their filming.

15. Blue Shark

There are many species of shark in the waters around the British Isles. Most common is the blue shark and though no reports of attacks have been made about such sharks in British waters, filming of sharks is often done from a protective cage. British diver, Tony Baverstock, who is one of this country's leading underwater photographers, joined a shark fishing party off the Isle of Wight When a porbeagle shark was hooked he entered the water to film the battle with the 200 pound fish. During the filming the shark passed right between his legs! But he got his photographs.

16. White Death

All sharks are not dangerous but all must be treated as though they are. One shark about which there is no doubt is the Great White. This shark is a killer and a monstrously powerful one too. In 1970 Peter Gimbel led an expedition which included Ron and Valerie Taylor, Australian underwater experts and Stan Waterman, one of the world's finest underwater cameramen to film the Great White. They finally located the shark off the coast of South Australia. The shark, often called White Death, was over 12 feet long and bent the bars of the cage during the filming !

17. Beach Wear

The results of Cousteau's exploration of the undersea world were his films, his books and his television series. And soon no British beach was complete without its quota of mask, fins and snorkel tubes. In the more popular areas, where there was clear water, a new wonderland was opened up to young and old alike. To get the best from these underwater swimming aids, you must use them properly then the sea is yours and all that's in it. Local branches of the British SubAqua Club, formed in 1953, will advise on the proper use of equipment,

18. Gold from he Sea

For deep salvage work an observation bell is used. A diver in the bell directs the salvage ship's operations. One of the classic stories of salvage is that of the P and O steamship Egypt. She had on board over a million pounds worth of gold when she was sunk by collision off Finistere, France Almost all the gold was recovered from the ship in nearly 400 feet of water by means of the diver in the bell directing the laying of explosive charges and then guiding the ship's grab down to claw up the gold.

19. The Explorers

Cousteau's aqualung equipment soon became easily available all over the world. And a new sport was born underwater exploration. But proper training in the use of the equipment is essential. To cater for this need the British SubAqua Club was formed in 1953 and now, with tens of thousands of members, is the governing body for the sport of underwater swimming in this country. Those who join receive a proper course of instruction in both the use of mask, fins and snorkel and of the aqualung. Once trained, divers branch out into other fields, such as underwater photography.

20. Spear Fishing

Spearfishing with the aqualung is frowned upon in Britain and banned in the coastal waters of many other countries. There is no doubt that the aqualung diver with speargun in clear waters, such as those of Southern France, Italy, and Spain, had the advantage over rock dwelling fish and could wait outside their holes for a killing shot. Because of this the use of the aqualung for hunting in such waters is banned. But where the odds are more evenly matched such as the taking of lobsters or crayfish by hand the law does allow the British diver to fish.

21. Helping the Fishermen

The modern diver who is able to range freely over a large area of seabed has been extensively used in fishing research. Free divers were able to assist in the redesign of modern fishing nets such as trawls because of their observation of fish and fishing underwater. Divers were able to help Government research into the use of trawls by fisheries vessels by hanging on to the back of the trawl net and observing its passage over the seabed Divers reported that many prime fish were missed by the trawl as it passed over the depressions in the seabed.

22. Treasure!

The general use of the aqualung and the freedom it gave to the diver created an unexpected booming the exploration of ancient wrecks. And so underwater archaeology was born. The world's divers behaved with unexpected seriousness. In most cases proper underwater excavation and recording of the divers' finds took place. Soon the divers were discovering the Spanish ships which had sunk while bringing home the treasures of the New World. And up from the seabed came long lost treasures such as a gold cross with seven magnificent emeralds found by Teddy Tucker in a 16th century Spanish wreck off Bermuda.

23. The Mary Rose

One of the most important discoveries by divers in British waters was not a treasure wreck. The Mary Rose sank in 1545 in full view of Henry VIII as she sailed out to meet the French from Portsmouth. She capsized when water entered her open gunports. Diver historian Alexander McKee has located her where she sank into the sediments of the seabed and now teams of divers are working to free her from the seabed so that she can be raised and put on display to the public. Firchoses are being used to tunnel through the mud of centuries.

24. Treasure Hunt

Not all underwater archaeology can be a matter of careful measurement and recording of items to be lifted to the surface. The nearest that Britain has ever come to a treasure hunt occurred in the Scilly Isles when the remains of Sir Cloudes Jey Shovell's flagship HMS Association were discovered. The Association had sunk in 1707 and was relocated in 1967. Divers from all over the the world descended on the site, spurred on by the discoveries of gold and silver coins. Thousands of coins were recovered as well as many fine bronze guns Divers on the site today still find coins.

25. Killer Whale

For centuries the orca or killer whale has been regarded as one of the sea's most ferocious creatures. And it is true that the killer whales launch group attacks on other whales, seals and dolphins with the utmost ferocity. But more recently the killer whale, when captured, has seemed almost friendly to man. In 1965 a killer whale, captured by two Canadian fishermen, was bought by Seattle Aquarium. The whale inside a floating net was towed slowly to the nearest point to the Aquarium where it was called Namu. Other killer whales followed the trapped whale on the journey.

26. Dolphins

Dolphins have a long history of friendliness to man. There are well documented stories of dolphins helping drowning people to shore and of regular visits of dolphins to certain bays to play with bathers. The dolphin mother will fight to the death to defend her calf. She pushes her calf to the surface immediately after giving birth to it and supports it there until it begins breathing properly. The dolphin is one of the sea's most intelligent creatures. The trainer of the dolphin film and tv star Flipper, says that this dolphin never forgets any trick which he is taught.

27. Under the Ice

The nuclear submarine broke every existing submarine record for speed, endurance and range. And, though figures are never officially released, depth too. The U .SS Nautilus, America's first nuclear submarine was launched in 1955 and was the first to cross under the North Pole on August 3, 1958. Other nuclear submarines followed and more records were broken. These submarines can stay underwater for a long time, sometimes over two months. The Triton went round the world submerged. And on St. Patrick's Day, 1959, the Skale broke through the ice and became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole!

28 Escape from 600 Feet

While all the world's navies probed down towards the depths, the Royal Navy were investigating the possibility of a more modern method of escape for men trapped at depth in a crippled submarine. The solution they found did not rely on the escapers breathing from an independent supply of oxygen or air, but in a suit with a hood. When released from an escape hatch the submariner rose to the surface breathing air from the submarine trapped in the hood of his special escape suit. The Royal Navy carried out escapes from a submarine 600 feet down with little trouble.

29. Lost Bomb

On Monday, January 17th, 1966 at 10:22 am. in the blue, blue sky over the little village of Palomares on the South Eastern coast of Spain a B52 bomber of the United States Strategic Air Command collided with a KC135 jet tanker aircraft while refuelling. H bombs fell from the sky. All but one were accounted for. The missing bomb was finally found by the two man submarine Alvin at a depth of over 2.500 feet half buried in the soft seabed. It was finally grasped by the claws of CURV Cable Controlled Underwater Research Vehicle and winched to the surface.

30. Underwater Houses

In 1962 and 1963 . Jacques Yves Cousteau who had pioneered the aqualung diving equipment which released the diver from the tethering airline to the surface, led the way down again. This time he established undersea houses called Conshelf I and Conshelf II in which men could live and walk about without wearing breathing equipment. At the same time he introduced his underwater 'flying saucer'II streamlined two man submarine which could glide down to great depths and had a greater mobility than any undersea vehicle so far built. His second undersea house even had a garage for the Diving Saucer .

31. Living Underwater

By 1964 undersea living was all the rage. Such experiments all aimed at exploiting the mineral riches of the Continental Shelf were extremely costly in the amount of backup equipment needed on the surface to supply air and power. In that year the United States established Sealab I in which 'aquanauts' lived for ten days at 192 feet off Bermuda. And the next year 1965, Sealab II was down in the colder water off California to 205 feet and more aquanauts lived there for periods from 15 to 30 days. Porpoises acted as messenger boys from the surface to the undersea habitat.

32. And Two Died

Death can strike swiftly in the deeps. On a record 1,O00 foot dive off California two divers were to swim out of the chamber and then re enter for a slow return to surface pressure but something went wrong. Hans Keller made his swim to the seabed at 1,000 feet, but Peter Small, one of the founders of the British Sub Aqua Club died, and Christopher Whittaker one of the two safety divers, failed to surface and was never found. The safety divers did manage to clear a fin which was jamming the hatch and so probably saved Keller's life.

33. Oil Giants

Offshore oil rigs in shallow waters such as the Gulf of Mexico, actually stand on the seabed. But as the quest for undersea oil deposits spread into deeper, stormier waters, such as the North Sea, a new breed of oil rig appeared. The feet of these monsters never touch the sea floor. One, launched in 1970, has four huge legs each 160 feet long. The feet of the legs are large tanks which when flooded take the legs down into calm water 100 feet down. Huge anchors make sure that the rig stays in place above the drilling hole.

34. Whale Killers

Gone are the longboats and hand harpoons. Modern whaling in the Antarctic is big business, carried out with scientific equipment. Today the whaling operation centres round a factory ship. She is the 'mother' of the expedition. Based on her are more than a dozen catcher boats, and refrigerator ships. The factory ship processes whales into whale oil, whale meat, bone meal, meat extract and other byproducts. The catchers are the whale killers, firing a heavy harpoon with an explosive head into the whale. The carcass is then inflated with compressed air and left with radio buoy for collection.

35. Coral Hunters

Most shallow growths of the precious red coral of the Mediterranean have been exhausted. Now the coral diver, who collects the living coral from the undersides of overhangs, crevices or the roofs of caves, is having to go deeper and deeper to collect sizeable amounts. Most countries with Mediterranean coastlines now issue special licenses to professionals to work certain areas. It is only when coral is polished that it takes on the red shine that makes it into attractive jewellery. The horrid looking angler fish actually fishes for food with the fleshy 'rod' on the top of its head.

36. Dancing Fish

Scientists already know that fish will respond to certain sounds. Recordings of music played to fish will often lure them in close to the underwater loudspeakers. In many countries of the world, particularly in Japan and in Russia, this kind of research is being directed to increasing the fish harvest from the sea. When combined with other research going on at the same time, those same scientists foresee a future where fish will be attracted by electronic versions of their mating or feeding noises and will be then sucked up by huge 'vacuum cleaners' straight into a refrigeration ship.

37. Underwater Pincusion

The sea urchin is not the creature to rest your hand or foot on while swimming underwater. Its sharp spines penetrate human skin very easily. Fortunately only one or two tropical species contain some form of poison. In some Mediterranean countries the roe or eggs of these spiky creatures are considered a delicacy. The growth of underwater swimming in this country did produce one interesting side effect cleaned sea urchin shells appeared in hundreds in the seaside shops. Fortunately this mass collection of sea urchins has so far apparently done little to damage the marine environment around our coasts.

38. Oil on the Sea

When a supertanker sinks or gets holed in its storage tanks the effect is immediately seen on those beaches nearest to the disaster. Britain was the first to suffer when the Torrey Canyon struck a reef near the Scilly Islands. Attempts were then made to set fire to the oil with rockets from aircraft and huge quantities of detergent were sprayed on the oil as it came ashore ruining beaches. Latest methods of dealing with such spillage include drawing a boom around the oil to contain it and sinking the oil by adding something like waste ash from furnaces.

39. Crown of Thorns

We know very little about the effect we human beings have on sea creatures. There is good reason to think that the sudden population explosion of the coral eating Crown of Thorns starfish, which is damaging many tropical reefs, particularly around Australia, may have been caused by man's pollution of the sea by killing off the natural enemies of the starfish, but not the Crown of Thorns itself. Divers are now collecting these spiky starfish for scientists to examine and destroying many others in the hope that the beautiful coral on which the starfish feeds can still be saved.

40. Spearguns

Can Spearfishing damage the undersea world around the coasts of the world ? Hans Hass, one of the pioneers of the exploration of the seas by diving, believes it can and wants production of all spear guns to be stopped. No one would argue that rock fish, such as the grouper, which tend to live in one particular hole have, in the Mediterranean, largely disappeared from areas near tourist playgrounds. But it seems unlikely that in Britain's less clear waters such a thing could happen here. Britain's spear fishermen are few in number compared with those of France or Italy for example.

41. Tugs Underwater

Though the diver could move easily over the Seabed with strokes of the fins on his feet, he wanted to move faster with less effort. So the undersea scientists produced the 'diver's tug' really a torpedo with handles on the back to which the diver could hang on and switch the electric motor on and off. The underwater photographer needed such a machine and one soon appeared 'the Rebikoff torpedo', named after it inventor, Dimitri Rebikoff, came complete with cameras and lights. The diver here is photographing a John Dory, a fish found in British waters which is excellent eating.

42. Seaweed Eating

Everyone knows what seaweed looks like but you probably eat it without recognising it ! Some soups, jellies and ice cream contain a thickening agent made from seaweed. Some shaving cream and cosmetics contain similar substances. 'Laver bread', which is eaten in Ireland and South Wales, is really a type of seaweed boiled until it becomes a sort of jelly, coated in oatmeal and then fried. In Japan over 30 different kinds of seaweed are eaten. Machines now reap tons per hour for processing into fertilizers and animal foods. Seaweed extracts have been used in many branches of industry even in making clothes.

43. Sea Farms

At the moment the Japanese lead the world in farming the sea. This is understandable because they are crowded on to small islands and rely on the sea for a great deal of their food. But the world as a whole will tend more and more to farm food in the sea. Shellfish will play only a part of these farms where all food fish will be tended. In Britain fish have been raised from eggs; lobsters are fattened in 'net corrals' on the seabed. The farm under the sea with divers tending fish like cowboys is not far away.

44. Man into Fish

Fish live on the oxygen dissolved in water and if the water doesn't contain oxygen the fish will die. That is the whole secret of keeping goldfish healthy in a bowl at home. A fish's gills contain membranes through which the oxygen in the water is absorbed and carbon dioxide given off. The simple answer to turning man into a fish is to give him such a membrane. In fact such a membrane has been invented. But at the moment it is simpler to use ordinary diving equipment. Hamsters have lived underwater for two weeks without trouble using this membrane.

45. Down Deep

William Beebe and Otis Barton are two great names in the exploration of the undersea world. They were both men of great courage imagine letting yourself be lowered alone between 3,000 and 4,000 feet into the depths of the sea in a steel ball on the end of a wire! That is what these two men separately did in their bathysphere and benlhoscope, two words which really mean steel spheres with viewing windows. But their work which took place between 1930 and 1949 was vastly important because of the life they saw down there in the dark of the sea.

46. Deepest Ever

On Saturday, January 23, 1960, two men went down a great crack in the floor of the seabed. In the bathyscaph Trieste, Jacques Piccard, son of Auguste Piccard who invented the bathyscaph, and Lieutenant Don Walsh of the United States Navy, went as deep as it is possible to go 35,800 feet down in the Challenger Deep. The bathyscaph which is a sphere of steel under a floatation device containing gasoline, is able to move freely without any wires to the surface. And there was life at the bottom. The two men saw a flatfish and a 'beautiful red shrimp'.

47. Giants of the Deep

Somewhere down there down in the deep dark depths of the sea are giant squids. One day a submarine will meet one. These giants are much bigger than the ten foot long specimen with 35 foot long tentacles and eyes a foot in diameter captured off Peru. The legend of some giant creature with arms the Krakenhas been with us since the earliest seafaring days. From pieces of squid taken from the stomachs of whales who love to feed on big squid, there seems no reason to doubt that squid of over 100 feet in length may well live in the depths.

48. The crowded Deeps

As the undersea fleets of the world increase there are plans for huge underwater tankers as well as more war machines like the nuclear submarines so some form of underwater traffic control will become absolutely essential for safe undersea voyages. This undersea equivalent of air traffic controls, which guide aircraft safely through the sky avoiding collision with others on opposite courses, will do the same thing for underwater travellers. Already it has been reported that electronic listening devices have been placed underwater around the coasts of the Big Powers so that the approach of underwater craft can be detected immediately.

49. Trackers in the Sky

The nuclear submarine drifting deep down without making any engine noise is no longer hidden completely from view. Military reconnaissance satellites are now so sophisticated that not only can they detect metal deep down and that could be any old wreck but they can also trace and locate a heat source deep in the sea. This kind of sophisticated detection may one day help fishermen to make the most of the seas resources. Long range sonar buoys are already in use to track down submarines and they could just as well be used to track down shoals offish.

50. Underwater Tourists

The day of the underwater tourist is here. Already special holidays are arranged for those who wish to have an aqualung tour of some especially attractive area. On such diving holidays you have, of course, to be able to swim and not mind getting wet. But the day of mass underwater tourism is coming. In Switzerland it has already arrived. There tourists sit, dry and comfortable, in a special tourist submarine looking through the windows at life under the surface of a lake. One day even bigger underwater 'cruise liners' will show tourists the wonders of the deep sea.

 

 

 

 

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