Scuba gear history traces back to the primitive systems used by divers in 1825 to the modern, compact gear used by today's divers. Scuba diving is an underwater activity that has made marine exploration open to the average person. The gear used by these divers is referred to by the acronym S.C.U.B.A. which stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus and has changed a great deal since the early nineteenth century.
Scuba gear history began in 1825 when English inventor William James designed the first self-contained diving apparatus. Williams designed a set of diving gear that included the first pressurized cylinder of air for breathing that was contained on the diver alone. Previous systems forced divers to rely on sources of air from the surface in order to breathe. James' gear was the first scuba system in scuba gear history simply because it was self-contained, the system was used for brief underwater activities.
The next development in the history of scuba diving gear occurred when a CO2 recycling system was designed by Henry A Fleuss. This system involved a tank of concentrated oxygen that was mixed with the air released when the diver exhaled. This system prevented the appearance of bubbles caused by exhaling divers and was of particular interest militaries.
Later developments in scuba gear history occurred over time as divers learned the effects of breathing various concentrations of air at different depths. Divers descended to progressively greater depths as scuba systems were improved. As a result of this, conditions such as decompression sickness or the bends were discovered. Divers soon realized that by adding nitrogen to their breathing air, they could reduce both the frequency and severity of decompression sickness.
Over the past century there has been a number of advances in scuba gear history because of the advent of tailored air mixes and the amount of breathing air that can pressurized in tanks. These two factors have led to greater interest in diving as well increases in both the depths and durations of underwater scuba activities. The majority of recreational divers combine a specific air mixture with an advanced version of the regulator and air tanks used by William James. More efficient inventions based on the recycling system designed by Fleuss are in use but require a greater knowledge and skill level that simpler systems.
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