I've realized over time that I'm not really a Vintage Scuba collector (although I have a collection, and have pursued collecting....), and don't really care about keeping beautiful, correct regulators. I don't even really care about diving collectible vintage gear.
Although I do like getting an old regulator back into dive-able condition either by servicing, rebuilding, or restoring, I don't want to keep them. Especially pristine examples that shouldn't be subjected to use because of their rarity, excellent condition, and/or historical importance. These are cool, and I have a few in my possession, but I really don't want to dive them, display them, or gleefully hoard them. They are of no use to me sitting in a box. I usually send them on. What I like is the coolness and efficiency of double hose regulators, modding them, building conversions and adapters, and making old stuff perform better than it did. My collection is going to get thinned out to my experiments: the Dacor Olympic DH conversion, the Titan II DH conversion, the Misuba Rev5 Balanced Frankenreg, the modded Dacor C-3, and whatever other experimental, modded and adapted equipment no one else will want. I'm getting rid of most everything else.
I might keep a few of the regs that appeal to me, like a DivAir, a Scuba, a GL, the 250ft Snark III, the HydroTwin II (maybe) etc., but they won't be real nice ones. I doubt I'll keep any single hosers except my first two regulators, the ScubaStar TDQK that I learned to dive with, and its successor, a red label Calypso. I might keep an MR12 II or III, but doubt I'll ever dive it. Backup reg?
So, what do other members do? What kind of participation in this hobby do you all focus on? I'd like to hear what draws you lot in.
I simply like getting these old regulators, masks, snorkels, fins, etc., and using them to find out their real characteristics. Some are best left on the display case (USD Aquamatic, for instance). Others are fairly good regulators. I like combining things to make them better, like the Healthways Hybrid Scuba regulator. I also have experimented with the Scuba regulator's exhaust, just to see how they breathed when new, and without the duckbill inserted. The Scuba regulator by Healthways was my first regulator, bought with strawberry and bean picking money in about 1959. I first dived it without even owning a wetsuit, and froze while diving with my neighbor, David Hadeen.
As many know here, I have experimented with swim fin design, and modified a number of different fins to my "scoop fin" design. I use that all the time, both in the pool and in open water. I'm continuing experiments with how divers swim through the water, and am horrified by the side-mount/back-mount combos that technical divers currently use as these are so hydrodynamically terrible with their water resistance that divers routinely need to use scooters to swim around.
Some also know that I invented, and patented, my own design for a BCD. My Para-Sea BC is, IMHO, the best-designed front-mount BCD ever, but no one would buy it. If anyone wants to produce it, I ask only that some be made for me. The patent is on file, so making it would be easy. The patent is also expired. So if anyone wants it, its there for the taking.
I hope to use some of my underwater swimming techniques and BCD design concepts to help handicapped divers, but haven't seen much from those groups about re-designing equipment for amputees, for instance. Rather than making an artificial limb with the ability to handle a swim fin, I envision double amputees using the fact of their amputation to actually become more streamlined and efficient in the water, perhaps even better than divers without these "handicaps."
John C. Ratliff Diving since 1959, at age 13. Haven't stopped, and still enjoy getting wet.
Post by DavidRitchieWilson on Dec 12, 2019 6:30:22 GMT -8
I think there are plenty of different motivations when it comes to collecting vintage underwater swim gear. If you want to read how serious collectors of the same go about their business, I recommend a visit to the "Our Collections" section of Luigi Fabbri's Blue Time Scuba History website at blutimescubahistory.com/?q=en/le-nostre-collezioni. These guys have gone to the trouble of exhibiting all their finds in museum-style cabinets and display cases. Now that's dedication.
The stuff I collect sits around in boxes around my home if it's old gear and in a multi-shelved bookcase if it's reading matter. As a lifelong bachelor, I don't have anybody to nag me if any of the books or equipment end up strewn around the floor but ready to be picked up and examined when I write something up for online publication.
I let my various interests and lines of enquiry guide my acquisitions. There's a dearth of information about mid 20c fin, mask, snorkel and suit manufacturing around the world, or at least in countries outside North America. I've started with the UK, because that's where I live, worked and first got bitten by the underwater swimming equipment collecting bug. So the core of my collection is the output of the principal British diving gear manufacturers E. T. Skinner (Typhoon) and W. W. Haffenden (Britmarine).
As a professional linguist (language teacher), I enjoy in retirement using my in-depth study of French and German decades ago at university to venture into less familiar languages when trying to document the diving artefacts from the four corners of Europe, including the former Soviet Union. I've learnt so much about the latter through the cheap Russian diving manuals currently offered on eBay and have come to admire the spearfishermen of that country who dived into frozen lakes to supplement the meagre rations on their family tables. I've now moved on to Asia, hoping to find online what I am looking for in the way of information about the gear used by the Haenyeo underwater hunters of South Korea's Jeju Island, this time collecting pictures and texts because the gear itself no longer seems to be marketed first or second hand.
I'll go on doing what I'm doing, buying what I can afford when I see something useful to my research on eBay, writing up my finds in the hope that it might be of interest to others. I have no illusions, though, about the fate of my collection when I eventually depart this world. It will all end up in a "skip", or "dumpster", as you say in the good ole USA, and be taken away to landfill. There was too much deference in my family when it came to so-called heirlooms that may have had sentimental value to their previous owners but had little signifance otherwise. What I may do, though, is to photograph all my gear acquisitions so that there will be a much tidier "virtual museum" surviving my demise. That's enough of a legacy.
What do Ming the Merciless and the Scubair-300 have in common?
Both not made in China?
I SEE HOW IT IS. WHEN OTHER PEOPLE GO OUTSIDE IT'S "GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH" AND "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED." BUT WHEN I GO OUTSIDE IT'S A "CONTAINMENT BREACH" AND A "HIGH-LEVEL THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY." OK, BE THAT WAY.
Mr. Crabbe played Ming's nemesis Flash Gordon, he also endorsed Healthways swim fins:
As did competition swimmer and screen actor Johnny Weissmuller, by the look of the co-signature.
I wonder whether France's most famous diving equipment manufacturer Georges Beuchat branded his gear "Tarzan" in homage to Weissmuller's best-known acting role? I recall reading somewhere that Beuchat got into trouble with Hollywood for some kind of rights infringement.
Tarzana is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California. Tarzana is on the site of a former ranch owned by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is named after Burroughs' fictional jungle hero, Tarzan...
Yes, as I understand the Burroughs' estate put the kibosh on that one.
Not that I'd EVER want to live in southern California, traffic is INSANE, but it's really beautiful down there geologically speaking. There are so many filming locations to visit that most of the world would find them somehow strangely familiar even after all these years.