Pirelli & C. was founded in 1872 in Milan by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, with the aim to manufacture natural rubber and produce rubber-coated canvasses, transmission belts, sleeves and rubber connections. At the beginning of 1900, the company specializes in bicycle tires, an innovation. The product range increased, becoming broader from rain coats to submarine cables, car tires and inflatable kayaks.
In 1944, the sophisticated Poseidon unit appears, equipped with full-face mask; the war was at the end therefore, it became the first oxygen rebreather sold in the civil market; around 1950 the Polifemo was born, a simplified version of the Poseidon and without mask.
The market being saturated with air breathing regulators, Pirelli looks for other alternative techniques to the Mistral and derived and, in 1955 presents the Tricheco. Three years later, it is the turn of the likewise unusual Explorer Standard, key player in the famous depth record in air of the following year, which remain undefeated for more than 30 years. The catalogues of the company enrich to include the complete range of diving gear, from fins to masks to guns.
In 1968, Pirelli stops the oxygen rebreather production, and at the beginning of the following decade, its diving equipment is transferred under the Ulixes brand which, later, will be changed to Union Stop, for a certain period of time; then Pirelli recedes definitely from the diving sector.