Legends of Diving Articles
What's In a Name
by Dr. Sam Miller
" 2006 Dr. Sam Miller
All Rights Reserved.
It all began about 75 years ago.
In 1938 the noted American author Guy Gilpatric wrote a book
?The Compleat Goggler," (Dodd-Mead Co, 1938). For lack of a
better descriptive name all who donned a pair of goggles to
peak under water were referred to as "Gogglers."
In the 1930s and 1940s a young Austrian, Hans Hass
explored the Caribbean and the Red Sea underwater using
early re-breathers. For lack of a more colorful name he
called his activity "Swim Diving," and the participants
?Swim divers." (Dr. Hass's first US book was Diving to
Adventure, Doubleday 1951).
In 1943, a French Canadian, Emile Gagnan and a French Naval
Officer, Jacques Cousteau joined a regulator designed for
automotive use with a high pressure cylinder to create a
compressed air underwater breathing apparatus. Once again
for lack of a better name the activity was called "Cousteau
diving" (First of the men fish, James Dugan, 1948--Jacques
Cousteau's first US book was The Silent World, Harper and
Rowe, 1953 ).
In the early 1950s when the first Scuba units arrived in the
US they were identified by their name plates as "Aqua lungs"
and the activity was "Aqua Lung diving." Soon this activity
was soon shortened to "Lung Diving."
On 16 October, 1956 the US Navy issued NAVSHIPS 250-538.
This was the first USN document addressing the use of the
?Aqua Lung." In order to describe the diving activity the
USN dusted off a 1943 acronym which had been used to
describe a WW 11 submarine escape device-That acronym was
?SCUBA," AKA "Self Contained Underwater Breathing
Almost immediately Richard "Dick" Klein, the founder and
president of a now defunct diving manufacturing company
called Healthways recognized the value of the term SCUBA so
he placed a copy write on the acronym." Soon all Healthways
products had the term "SCUBA" somewhere in their product
By the early 1960s Dick was ill and Healthways had fallen on
hard times. In 1962 Healthways had attempted to establish a
new professional line which never got off the ground. In
1963 Healthways went into bankruptcy.
Two Californians, Dick Bonin and Gus de la Valle, purchased
the assets and the name of Healthway's professional line for
$1.00 and "due consideration." That professional line was
and still is known as "Scuba Pro." (a picture of the very
rare 1962 Healthways/Scuba pro catalog may be viewed at
www.seastar.at by pressing the "Nostalgia" button).
In the early 1970s Don Breslow resurrected his relative,
Dick Klein's dream of a professional Scuba line by
establishing a company called "Scuba Master." Great
products, good marketing, experienced staff, all the
components were in place for success, but the company closed
it's doors after several years.
Now only Scuba Pro remains
From "Gogglers" to "Swim divers" to "Cousteau divers," to
?Aqua Lung divers" to "Lung divers" to the present "SCUBA
divers." Recreational diving has certainly come a long way
in a short time
The rest is history?"
(and the rest of the story is in my forthcoming book)
Dr. Samuel Miller
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