MISTERIES OF A PICTURE: THE UNKNOWN OXYGEN REBREATHER AND THE INCREDIBLE SPEAR GUN - From " The underwater world " of 1950
By scanning the single-issue famous magazine "Mondo Subacqueo 1950 " - "The underwater world" of 1950 (>Writings and Images about Scubadiving History) my curiosity came across this picture of Egidio Cressi. You can see its strange traits; I enlarged it with Photoshop and, these "strange traits" appeared to be at least three. The first one is that surely it is an awkward photomontage, with which the left picture has been overlapped with another one, with the big grouper kept in vertical position with a too long and bent arm, forgetting to eliminate that horrible horizontal band.
Then, there is the dilemma of the spear gun, unreal as it appears. I asked for help to a specialist, Vittorio Carta Mantiglia and, I agree with his theory that it is a classic spring spear fun partially covered by a shorter one, probably the prototype of a Mignon gun with internal rubber bands, which will be in the catalogue one year later.
At the end, the most important question is: what is the strange oxygen rebreather with two upper hoses which end in a kind of pouch in the back neck? It looks like the CF-49 rebreather model, the only known device of Cressi Sub with double filter but, in this one, there is no trace of an upper prosecution. Then, going back to combing through the catalogs of the House, we found it in the 1952 edition, where it had passed almost unnoticed since it had the same name as the previous CF-49. But why did it appear only in that year? What happened to it?
Here, the big experience and skills of the researcher Maurizio Baldinucci came useful who, in few days, made the discovery. The truth stayed in America. It is the Cressi Lung O2 rebreather, one prototype based precisely on the CF-49 one, integrated by the counterlung behind the nape, as you can see in the pictures of its technical sheet. It was proposed to the US Navy, but it did not pass the Nedu test (Navy Experimental Diving Unit) so, it was lost in our memories.