BACK-MOUNTED SCOOTER – The Aquanaut SPU was an underwater scooter to be fixed in the back, under the tank driven with the body movements, so that the diver had free hands. Its 2-speed engine could reach 4 mile/h. It weighted only 12 Kg. Its characteristics made it a unit suitable also for surface navigation, perfect for disabled people. With this introduction, the American Aquadyn Underwater Technologies presented it in 2000 and, at that time, it seemed to be successful. Where it is now?
SO MANY DIVING GEAR – In the second half of the 1970, the adventure and discovery age is almost finished but, the season of tropical journeys dedicated to divers begins. Diving gear explodes, latest brands and new products are born continuously. At the end of 1978, in the diving boom, the choice is huge. Looking at the catalogues and yearbooks of that time, it comes out that the Italian marked offered several models of diving gear, new and well known. The main ones were: snorkels 68 - cylinders 39 – weight belts 24 - knives 71 – compressors 18 – underwater cameras and video recorders 62 - regulators 47 - speargun 189 – ring-like BDC 14 – torches 45 - masks 109 - suits 118 – diving watches 19 - fins 51 – depth gauge 78, besides an impressive quantity of accessories.
THE OLDEST SCHOOL - Luigi Ferraro, on behalf of the Cressi company and in logistic cooperation with the Italian Touring Club organization, in the summer of 1948 organizes a diving course in Marina di Campo, in Elba island: this is the first diving school in the world. Together with him, his wife Orietta and Edmondo Sorgetti, of Gamma (Italian Navy special forces) and of sponge fishing. The only breathing apparatus that they had were their very old personal ones from the war, that is the oxygen rebreathers. In fact, oxygen rebreather is just born. The Cousteau regulator produced by a La Spirotechnique is still a rare and little-known piece. After Elba island, Ferraro and his friends transfer to Ischia island and, in 1950 to the almost unknown, at that time, Tremiti islands.
The one at Tremiti island is not a diving course as the previous ones in Elba and Ischia but, the first diving school cruise, on board of the Laura boat. This diving school cruise is so successful that, in 1951 is repeated in the Pontino archipelago, among Ponza, Zannone and Palmarola islands. All this and much more of our history can be read in the book "Luigi Ferraro, un Italiano" of Ninì Cafiero.
THE FIRST UNDERWATER VIDEO RECORDER HOUSING – At the beginning of 1970, underwater video recorder housings were already available in many models, both amatorial and professional. At their top for quality and performances we find a majestic, unique black housing. It is the Swiss Bolex Paillard of 1971, dedicated to the prestigious 16 mm video recording of the same historical company which purchased, soon after, by the Austrian Eumig. This latter will be the “queen” of this sector, presenting in 1979, the first underwater video recorder in the market. However, his history is a thrilling one. It was the inventor Kurt Schaefer who created it, presenting his project very naively to Eumig that, right after, put it in production: but under his brand and without rewarding anything to Schaefer, who suited the company for stealing his project. Unfortunately, he did not obtain anything because, after a while, the company Eumig bankrupted.
LA SPIROTECHNIQUE REGULATORS - Sometime ago, the regulators manufactured by La Spirotechnique had a hose coming from the left, opposite to all the others in the world where the hose was coming from the right. The reason was simple. The Fenzy ring-style BCD and then the real BCDs produced in the following years by the French company had the breathing emergency corrugated hose on its right so that the hose was designed on its left, not to create confusion and possible hindrances during critical situations.