Man has been exploring the sea from the beginning of time, first in the search for food and then to undertake commercial and military exploits. Until the invention of the diving bell, men held their breath and dove upwards of 30 m (100 ft) often several times per day, sometimes never to return to the surface. Early evidence of breath-hold diving is found in drawings, ornaments and other artifacts made from mother-of-pearl and other seashells. Much of this historical evidence connects man to the sea as far back as 4,000 BCE and earlier.
This timeline is a chronological overview of the key events that have marked the evolution of diving. Topics covered include equipment development, exploration, science, underwater warfare, depth milestones, freediving, photography and cinematography.
The historical images presented in the preceding banner mark significant milestones in the development of the diving community and industry. If you can’t name them all, click here to view related entries.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Diving Almanac’s Historical Timeline is a work in progress with more events being converted into individual entries on an ongoing basis.
Have you discovered a mistake? Discrepancies are frequently found with names, dates and places while researching historical data. If you find errors or if you would like to suggest historical events for consideration in the next update, please contact us so that we may make corrections or updates. Thank you.
1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990
1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 | 1980
1979 | 1978 | 1977 | 1976 | 1975 | 1974 | 1973 | 1972 | 1971 | 1970
1969 | 1968 | 1967 | 1966 | 1965 | 1964 | 1963 | 1962 | 1961 | 1960
1959 | 1958 | 1957 | 1956 | 1955 | 1954 | 1953 | 1952 | 1951 | 1950
1949 | 1948 | 1947 | 1946 | 1945 | 1944 | 1943 | 1942 | 1941 | 1940
1939 | 1938 | 1937 | 1936 | 1935 | 1934 | 1933 | 1932 | 1931 | 1930
1929 | 1928 | 1927 | 1926 | 1925 | 1924 | 1923 | 1922 | 1921 | 1920
1919 | 1918 | 1917 | 1916 | 1915 | 1914 | 1913 | 1912 | 1911 | 1910
1909 | 1908 | 1907 | 1906 | 1905 | 1904 | 1903 | 1902 | 1901 | 1900
1893 | 1888 | 1882 | 1878 | 1873 | 1872 | 1870 | 1869 | 1867 | 1866
1864 | 1860 | 1856 | 1844 | 1843 | 1840 | 1839 | 1838 | 1831 | 1829
1828 | 1825 | 1823 | 1812 | 1808 | 1800 | 1788 | 1787 | 1775 | 1773
1771 | 1720 | 1715 | 1690 | 1689 | 1687 | 1681 | 1680 | 1642 | 1626
1620 | 1616 | 1597 | 1578 | 1551 | 1535 | 1500
- Archaeologists discover Sir John Franklin’s HMS Terror
- Discovery of the earliest ship from Europe’s Age of Discovery
- Refit of Cousteau’s Calypso begins anew
- The first woman to dive all 50 U.S. states
- World champion freediver Natalia Molchanova disappears
- Renowned explorers on expedition to the High Arctic
- Archaeological expedition recovers artifacts from the Antikythera shipwreck
- SSI is acquired by Mares
- Ahmed Gabr dives to the record depth of 332.35 m
- Discovery of HMS Erebus from the ill-fated Franklin Expedition
- NAUI approves the first Standard Dress Diving course for recreational divers.
- Unified Team Diving (UTD) is founded in California.
- Nuytco Research designs and builds the Curasub submersible.
- Scuba Educators International is founded to continue the defunct YMCA Scuba Program.
- SSI is acquired by Doug McNeese and Robert Stoss.
- AIDA Canada is founded.
- EUROTEK (European Advanced and Technical Diving Conference) is founded.
- Poseidon launches the world’s first fully automatic recreational rebreather, the Poseidon MKVI.
- Patrick Musimu is the first to freedive (No Limit) beyond 600 ft (182.88 m).
- Phil Nuytten and Nuytco Research acquire Seagraphic Publications, publisher of DIVER Magazine.
- Shearwater Research is founded.
- The government of Québec passes a law to regulate recreational diving instruction and certification.
Francisco “Pipin” Ferreras (USA) establishes No Limit depth record of 170 m.
Nuytco Research completes the first side-by-side Dual DeepWorker submersible.
- Tanya Streeter (USA) beats the women’s and men’s freediving records (AIDA).
- Skin Diver Magazine ceases publication after 51 years.
- Audrey Mestre (France) dies while ascending from a No Limit depth of 171 m (561 ft).
- Odyssey Marine Exploration identifies the wreck of the HMS Sussex off the Strait of Gibraltar.
- Nikon ends production of the Nikonos V and accessories.
Our World-Underwater Scholarship is renamed the ROLEX Scholarship.
- Loïc Leferme (France) is the first to freedive beyond 500 ft (152 m).
The turret of the USS Monitor is recovered.
- Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) is founded.
The U.S. Navy tests the Advanced Swimmer Delivery System (ASDS) dry sub.
- Men of Honor showcases the life of Carl Brashear.
- NUYTCO produces the Exosuit, an ultra-lightweight swimming hard suit.
COMISMER becomes CEPHISMER.
- Mass production of housings for consumer digital cameras begins.
- Scuba Diving International (SDI) is founded.
Liberty Bell 7 Mercury spacecraft is recovered.
- The World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WFIRSTC) is founded.
NASDS merges with SSI
- Dacor is acquired by Mares Diving.
The Women Divers Hall of Fame is founded.
- First ever live video broadcast from the RMS Titanic using the Magellan 725 ROV.
- Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) is founded.
- NASA builds the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station.
- Nuytco produces the DeepWorker 2000 submersible which is rated to 600 m (2000 ft).
- Dive equipment manufacturer U.S. Divers becomes Aqua Lung.
- Nikon retires the Nikonos RS 35mm SLR due to poor sales.
The first high definition underwater video is filmed on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
- Phil Nuytten patents the Remora submarine rescue system.
- DEMA opens membership from equipment manufacturers to all stakeholders in sport diving.
- DEMA changes name to Diving Equipment and Marketing Association.
Diver discovers the wreck of the Elizabeth & Mary.
- Umberto Pelizzari (Italy) is the first person to freedive beyond 400 ft (121.92 m).
- The MK 21 Superlite helmet replaces the MK 12 (U.S. Navy).
- The International Association for Handicapped Divers is founded in the Netherlands.
Technical Diving International is founded.
The COMISMER replaces the GISMER
- COMEX divers simulate a dive to 701 m (2,300 ft) on heliox.
AIDA (International Association for the Development of Freediving) is founded.
- Jim King (USA) is the first diver to reach the bottom of Dean’s Blue Hole.
The Nikonos RS 35mm SLR is launched.
- The Historical Diving Society USA is founded.
- IAND is renamed the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD).
- The Women’s Scuba Association (WSA) is founded.
The B2B Dive Travel Association is founded.
- Historical Diver Magazine is founded in Santa Barbara, California.
The Diamond Reef System becomes an instructional program.
FIRSTC becomes the secretariat for ANSI.
New terminology: technical diving.
The Historical Diving Society UK is founded.
Angela Bandini (Italy) is the first person to freedive beyond 350 ft (91.44 m).
- James Cameron’s The Abyss creates much interest in scuba diving.
Friends of the Reef is founded.
- COMEX divers make an open-water dive to 534 m (1,752 ft).
The wreck of the SS Central America is found.
ANDI is founded.
The Big Blue is released.
Captain Cousteau is elected to the Académie française.
- An expedition at Lake Titicaca tests Dr. Albert A. Bühlmann’s ZH-L16 algorithm.
ACUC is incorporated in Canada.
- COMEX and IFREMER launch the Saga, the world’s largest civilian diver lock-out submersible.
Cargo from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha is found.
The Deep Rover is launched
The Rediscovery of the World is launched by Cousteau.
The MK 12 replaces the MK V.
Hard Suits Inc is founded.
IAND is founded.
- Orca markets its first dive computer (Orca Edge) for recreational divers.
Nikon launches the Nikonos V.
- Divetronic AG introduces the Hans Hass DecoBrain, the first decompression diving computer.
United Diving Instructors (UDI) is founded.
The DEMA produces I’d Rather Be Diving to promote sport diving.
U.S. combat swimmers begin using the MK-25.
The Newtsuit is patented by Phil Nuytten.
The National Diving Accident Network becomes DAN.
NASE Worldwide is founded.
The Turkish Underwater Sports Federation is founded.
- British dive team conducts the deepest ever salvage operation on the wreck of HMS Edinburgh.
- Fondation Cousteau is founded in Paris.
- Ocean Realm magazine is launched.
- Divers at Duke University conduct a simulated dive to 650 m (2,132 ft).
- The NDSTC relocates to Panama City, Florida.
- The Institute of Marine Technology is founded.
- The National Diving Accident Network is founded.
- The International Diving Museum opens.
- The first underwater EFG camera system is launched.
- The Nikonos IV-A* is launched.
The Ocean Simulation Facility is first used by NEDU divers.
- John Stoneman directs the first underwater IMAX documentary film, Nomads of the Deep.
The Recreational Diving Law is passed.
The waters of Bonaire are designated as a marine park.
- American explorer Sylvia Earle walks in a JIM suit at 381 m (1,250 ft) for two-and-a-half hours.
- Royal Navy clearance divers and Egyptian divers relocate Egyptian monuments.
- COMEX divers make an open-water dive to 501 m (1,644 ft).
- Can-Dive and Phil Nuytten set a Canadian saturation depth/duration record of 290 m (950 ft) and 31 days.
The American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) is founded.
DEMA holds its first trade show.
Sport Diver Magazine is founded.
- The Sub-Aqua Association (SAA) is founded to represent clubs not affiliated with BSAC.
Florida Diver Magazine is founded.
FSDA becomes IDEA.
NEDU relocates to Panama City, Florida.
U.S. Navy divers reach the depth of 350 m.
- Jacques Mayol (France) is the first person to freedive beyond 300 ft (91.44 m).
The Professional Diving Instructors Corporation (PDIC) is founded.
The blockbuster movie Jaws is released.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team coined Les mousquemers by Philippe Tailliez.
Nikon launches the Nikonos III.
The Cousteau Society is founded in the USA.
- GERS becomes GISMER
- U.S. Navy sets a world record dive at 308 m (1,010 ft).
- Deep Work 1000 conducts the first North American 1000-foot saturation dive.
- COMEX divers make a simulated dive to 610 m (2,001 ft).
- U.S. Navy commissions the first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV).
- Dewey Bergman conducts the first commercial shark-feeding dive in Australia.
Blue Water White Death is produced by Peter Gimble.
- The recreational stabilization jacket (BCD) is introduced by Scubapro.
- Peter Hughes welcomes the first divers at a dedicated dive resort on the island of Roatan, Honduras.
The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau is published.
- The Office of Naval Research (ONR) conducts simulated deep diving experiments.
- Carl M. Brashear becomes the first African-American Master Diver in the U.S. Navy.
- Dr. Sylvia Earle leads an all-female two-week research expedition at a depth of 13 m (42 ft).
- Kip Wagner salvages $6,500,000 in coins, jewelry and precious metals from the 1715 Fleet.
Scuba Schools International (SSI) is founded.
- Jacques Piccard leads an American and Swiss team drift aboard the Ben Franklin for 31 days.
Four scientists spend 60 days at a depth of 15 m (50 ft) during Tektite I.
Oceaneering International is founded.
- Perry Submarine Builders becomes Perry Oceanographics.
Sea and Sea Travel is founded.
NEDU and Duke University conduct a record dive.
- Project NESCO conducts the first 600-foot (183 m) ocean bounce dives.
The Electrolung is developed.
The Beaver IV submersible is launched.
- The Italian Underwater Activities Federation (FIAS) is founded.
Nikon launches the Nikonos II.
- The National Association for Cave Diving (NACD) is founded.
The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau is launched.
- The Undersea Medical Society is founded in Maryland.
- The LS-1 Underwater Laboratory is launched in Romania.
- The Deep Diver submersible is launched.
- The Deep Diving System (DDS) enters Fleet Service in the U.S. Navy.
- The Spanish Federation of Underwater Activities (FEDAS) is founded.
- The Hydrolab habitat is built.
- The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is founded.
- Enzo Maïorca (Italy) is the first to freedive beyond 200 ft (60.96 m).
- The Star II and Star III submersibles are launched.
- The Minewarfare and Clearance Diving (MCD) branch of the Royal Navy is established.
- The U.S. Navy Harbor Clearance Unit One (HCU-1) is established.
- The Israeli Diving Federation (TIDF) is founded.
- Deep submergence vehicles are used to recover a thermonuclear bomb.
- Six Cousteau aquanauts spend 27 days at a depth of 100 m (328 ft) during Conshelf III.
- The first white shark observation cage is designed.
- Can-Dive Services is founded.
- The Deepstar 4000 submersible is launched.
- UNEXSO is created by Al Tillman in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
- Kirby-Morgan Inc. is founded by Bob Kirby and Bev Morgan.
- The James Bond thriller, Thunderball, is released.
- Three teams of ten aquanauts spend 15 days during SEALAB II.
- Four aquanauts live in an underwater habitat for 11 days during SEALAB I.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau launches the Sea Flea submersibles.
- Edward A. Link designs and builds a two-man undersea habitat called the SPID.
- The Alvin submersible is launched.
- Universal Salvors salvage treasure from the Spanish fleet of 1715.
- The MK 6 UBA is adopted by the U.S. Navy.
- The Deep Submergence Systems Project (DSSP) is created.
- Jetfins are introduced by Beuchat.
- The Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) goes on its first assignment.
- A time-capsule is thrown into the Mediterranean Sea by a CMAS delegation.
- Richard Adcock launches the Marisla, the first dedicated diving liveaboard.
- The Aluminaut submersible is launched.
- Ocean Futures is founded by Dick Bonin.
- Cousteau aquanauts occupy two underwater habitats in the Red Sea during Conshelf II.
- The USS Thresher submarine is lost at sea.
- Rodney Fox survives a white shark attack.
- Comhairle Fo-Thuinn (CFT), the Irish Underwater Council, is founded.
- Scubapro is founded.
- DEMA is formed.
- The movie Flipper is released.
- The Nikonos underwater camera is marketed by Nikon.
- Edwin A. Link spends eight hours in a submersible decompression chamber.
- Robert Sténuit becomes the world’s first aquanaut.
- Albert Falco and Claude Wesly remain underwater for a week during Conshelf I.
- Hannes Keller and Peter Small dive to 305 m (1,000 ft) in a diving bell.
- The Netherlands Underwater Sports Association (NOB) is founded.
- Fred Baldasare makes the first English Channel crossing on scuba.
- How to Build Your Own Underwater Camera Housing is published.
- Photographers develop a Plexiglass underwater housing.
- U.S. Navy SEAL Teams are formed.
- The Shark Hunters is produced.
- Swiss Hannes Keller and Kenneth MacLeish dive to 222 m (728 ft) in Lake Maggiore, Switzerland.
- Ed Replogle develops an audible alarm that warns a diver of low air pressure.
- COMEX is founded in Marseille, France.
- The Unisuit is launched by Poseidon.
- The Fenzy flotation device is patented.
- NASDS, the National Association of Skin Diving Schools is founded by John Gaffney.
- The San Diego Underwater Photographic Society (SDUPS) is founded.
- U.S. Navy divers recover Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Astronauts and their spacecraft.
- Americo Santarelli (Brazil) is the first to freedive beyond 150 ft (45.72 m).
- The USS Triton submarine travels the world entirely underwater.
- The bathyscaphe Trieste reaches the deepest point in the ocean.
- The first Underwater Instructor Certification Course (UICC) is created by NAUI.
- Small Hope Bay Lodge opens in the Bahamas.
- The World Underwater Federation is founded.
- The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) is founded.
- Y-SCUBA is founded.
- The first recreational analog dive computer is introduced.
- The Underwater Society of America is founded.
- Jerry Lewis plays in scuba film.
- Hans Hass wins the Oscar for underwater photography for the film Unternehmen Xarifa.
- Underwater Work is published.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau launches the Soucoupe diving saucer.
- The first piston regulator is marketed.
- The USS Nautilus surfaces at the North Pole.
- The Waterlung is designed.
- The Sea Hunt television series is launched.
- Sunset House dive resort opens on Grand Cayman.
- The Organization of Underwater Manufacturers is created.
- Poseidon is founded.
- The film Underwater Warrior is produced.
- The Calypsophot camera is designed.
- Foxboro Company manufactures the Mark I.
- Grand Cayman has its first full-time dive operation.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau becomes Director of the Monaco Oceanographic Museum.
- The first international underwater film festival is organized by Al Tillman and Zale Parry.
- Standards for saturation diving are established.
- The USN Standard Decompression Tables are published by NEDU.
- A Royal Navy diver reaches 183 m (600 ft) using a helium-oxygen mix.
- The red and white divers down flag is popularized by Ted Nixon.
- Compressors are marketed under the MAKO name.
- Underwater Photography Simplified is published.
- The first photos of the deep ocean floor are taken.
- Cousteau’s The Silent World receives an Academy Award.
- Perry Submarine Builders is founded.
- The Dial-A-Breath regulator is designed by Dacor.
- The FFESSM (French Diving Federation) is founded.
- Dottie Frazer becomes the first female scuba instructor.
- The first formal instructor certification program is introduced by Al Tillman and Bev Morgan.
- Underwater is produced by Howard Hugues.
- A Guide to Underwater Photography is published.
- The Complete book of Skin Diving is published.
- The FNRS 3 submersible reaches the depth of 4,050 m (13,287 ft).
- Zale Parry makes a record dive to 64 m (209 ft) near Catalina Island, California.
- The Mark V prototype is developed.
- Dacor is founded.
- The first U.S. scuba certification course takes place.
- Dr. Harold Edgerton develops an underwater still camera and electronic strobe.
- Underwater Photography and Television is published.
- An amphibious camera is introduced to the diving public.
- The first diver education textbook is published.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is released.
- Plongée sans câble is published.
- The first underwater television series, Kingdom of the Sea starring Zale Parry, is aired.
- U.S. Divers is founded.
- The first scuba training agency, BSAC, is founded.
- The Scottish Sub Aqua Club (SSAC) is founded in Glasgow.
- The first isothermic wetsuit is introduced.
- The British Underwater Centre is founded.
- Lady with a Spear is published.
- The first live undersea monitor images are broadcast.
- Beneath the 12 Mile Reef is released.
- The Silent World is published.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau explores the Antikythera Shipwreck with Dr. Harold Edgerton.
- Seahawk Products is founded.
- The U.S. Navy Emerson-Lambertsen closed-circuit oxygen rebreather is developed.
- The Clearance Diving branch of the Royal Navy is established.
- The neoprene wetsuit goes into commercial production.
- The Comité des Sports Sous-Marins is founded.
- The Scuba Training Committee of the Florida Skin Divers Association (FSDA) is founded.
- The Porpoise single-hose open-circuit regulator is marketed.
- The Pegasus DPV is launched.
- The acronym SCUBA is created.
- The J-valve is developed.
- Ennio Falco (Italy) is the first to freedive beyond 100 ft (30.48 m).
- The first of Hass’ books is translated into English.
- Movie The Frogmen is released.
- The Sea around Us is published.
- The Log from the Sea of Cortez is published by Steinbeck.
- The Biennale Prize is won by Hans Hass.
- The first issue of The Skin Diver magazine is published.
- Cressi diving equipment is imported into the U.S.
- Hugh Bradner designs the first neoprene wetsuit.
- The Home Station Clearance Diving Team (Royal Navy) is established.
- The bathyscaphe Trieste is designed.
- Georges Beuchat designs an underwater camera housing.
- The International Underwater Spearfishing Association is founded.
- Dick Anderson becomes the first Aqua-Lung instructor at Rene’s Sporting Goods.
- The Calypso becomes an oceanographic research vessel.
- Hilbert Schenck Jr. and Henry Kendall publish Shallow Water Diving for Pleasure and Profit.
- Jordan Klein and Jerry Greenberg design a simple lucite underwater housing.
- The GRS becomes the GERS.
- The U.S. Navy sends the UDT to Korea.
- E.R. Cross designs the Sport Diver single-hose regulator.
- Raymondo Bucher (Italy) freedives to 30 m (100 ft).
- The Section d’intervention sous-marine is created.
- Mares is founded.
- Hans Hass and German company Franke & Heidecke develop the Rolleimarin underwater housing.
- Dimitri Rebikoff develops an underwater electronic strobe flash for still and movie pictures.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau conducts the first archaeological excavation on scuba in Tunisia.
- Frédéric Dumas dives to 94 m (308 ft) using the Aqua-Lung.
- Wilfred Bollard (Royal Navy) dives to 165 m (540 ft) but dies during decompression.
- The first Aqua-Lung regulator is imported into the USA.
- Canadian production of the Aqua-Lung begins in Montréal, Québec.
- The U.S. Navy tests and approves the Aqua-Lung.
- Swiss scientist Dr. August Piccard completes building of the bathyscaphe FNRS-II.
- Otis Barton reaches 1,372 m (4,500 ft) in a modified Bathysphere.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Frédéric Dumas conduct the first cageless dive with a white shark.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau conducts the first dive in a shark observation cage.
- Georges Beuchat introduces the first surface buoy.
- The U.S. Atlantic Expedition photographs the sea floor at a depth of 360 m (1,180 ft).
- Marine Enterprises is founded by Jordan Klein.
- Maurice Fargues is the first diver to die using an Aqua-Lung during a record depth attempt.
- A submersible buoyed by gas is supposedly used in an escape by a German prisoner of war.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau patents the first constant volume drysuit.
- The British Admiralty Experimental Unit is created.
- Cressi-Sub is founded.
- Arne Zettefirström dives to 160 m (525 ft) but dies during decompression.
- The Groupe de recherches sous-marines (GRS) is created.
- A fourth Aqua-Lung prototype is built by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
- The Aqua-Lung revolutionizes the diving world.
- Frédéric Dumas reaches 64 m (210 ft) with the newly invented Aqua-Lung.
- Naval Combat Demolition Units (UDTs) take part in the Normandy invasion.
- The Cousteau’s become the world’s first scuba diving family.
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Frédéric Dumas produce Par dix-huit mètres de fond (Sixty Feet Down).
- The Naval Training School is established in New York to train salvage divers.
- Establishment of the Admiralty Experimental Diving Unit (AEDU).
- John Wayne stars in Cecil B. de Mille’s Reap the Wild Wind.
- Hans Hass founds expedition society Expedition für biologische Meereskunde.
- Navy and civilian hard hat divers conduct salvage operations in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
- Swim fins made of vulcanized rubber are handmade by Owen Churchill.
- Hans Hass films the first underwater movie on scuba in Curaçao.
- Hans Hass publishes his first book, Jagd unter Wasser mit Harpune und Kamera.
- 33 men are rescued using the McCann-Erickson Rescue Chamber.
- Midget submarines and rebreathers are used during World War II.
- The Compleat Goggler is published.
- Edgar End and Max Nohl conduct the first intentional saturation dive.
- George Commeinhes develops a two-cylinder open-circuit apparatus with demand regulator.
- The O-ring is invented.
- The American Diving Equipment and Salvage Company designs a diving suit and oxygen rebreather.
- Hans Hass is inspired by Guy Gilpatric.
- The U.S. Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) makes a simulated dive to 152 m (500 ft).
- DESCO is founded.
- Max Nohl makes record dive to 128 m (420 ft).
- The Italian navy develops a diver-operated torpedo system.
- Divers from the scuba club Les Sous l’eau perform an underwater show in Paris.
- Louis de Corlieu patents broad-bladed swim fins.
- The world’s first scuba diving club is established.
- Beebe and Barton reach record depth of 923 m (3,028 ft) in the Bathysphere.
- The Beuchat Society is founded.
- The world’s first free diving club, The Bottom Scratchers of San Diego, is founded.
- Yves le Prieur develops the demand valve.
- A handbook for diving is published in German.
- The Bathysphere is developed by William Beebe and Otis Barton.
- Guy Gilpatric helps popularize underwater hunting in the Mediterranean Sea.
- The Momsen Lung is developed and tested with success.
- E.R. Fenimore Johnson is the first commercial manufacturer of underwater camera housings.
- Amelia Earhart conducts her first of two known dives.
- The Navy School of Diving and the Experimental Diving Unit are relocated to the Washington Navy Yard.
- A lightweight compressed air diving apparatus is developed by Yves Le Prieur and Maurice Fernez.
- H. Longley and Charles Martin take the first underwater colour photographs.
- Yasukichi Murakami develops a patent for a suit and breathing apparatus for pearl divers in Australia.
- The U.S. Navy Air Compression Tables are developed by EDU.
- The U.S. Navy and Bureau of Mines sponsor experimental dives.
- A self-contained system is marketed by Draeger.
- The USN Diving Manual is published by the Navy Department.
- Morse manufactures the first Mark V helmet.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea is released.
- U.S. Navy divers set new depth records of over 91 m (300 ft) while salvaging a submarine.
- The first report on Deep Diving Tests is published by the US Bureau of Construction and Repair.
- Underwater images for Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea are filmed by John-Ernest Williamson.
- The Divinhood helmet is patented.
- Sir Robert Davis invents an oxygen rebreather.
- Stephen J. Drellishak establishes a depth record of 84 m (275 ft).
- The U.S. Navy diving school is reopened.
- The first underwater movie is produced using the Williamson Photosphere.
- A new device, the Fessenden Oscillator, marks the beginning of underwater acoustic exploration.
- George Stillson establishes an experimental diving school.
- The Davis Submersible Decompression Chamber is developed.
- Decompression tables are tested by the U.S. Navy.
- John-Ernest Williamson develops the Williamson Photosphere.
- Yorgos Haggi Statti reportedly freedives to 77 m (253 ft).
- Draeger develops a diving oxygen rebreather.
- The Prevention of Compressed-Air Illness is published
- A diving manual is published by the Royal Navy.
- Louis Boutan publishes the first book on underwater photography.
- John P. Holland designs a submarine for the U.S. Navy.
- The Antikythera Shipwreck is discovered.
- Paul Regnard develops the first underwater camera housing.
- The U.S. Navy establishes its first dive school at Newport, RI.
- The Albatross is the world’s first vessel specifically-built oceanographic research vessel.
- A study on pressure is published by Paul Bert.
- A closed-circuit self-contained diving dress is developed by Henry Fleuss.
- Chamber recompression is recommended for divers suffering from the bends.
- A closed underwater observatory is developed by Ernest Bazin.
- The first modern bathymetric maps are printed.
- Eadweard Muybridge takes underwater photos in San Francisco Bay.
- Caisson disease is called ‘the bends.’
- Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea is published.
- Auguste Denayrouze replaces the Groin face-piece with a more conventional helmet.
- French engineer Ernest Bazin develops the first underwater electric lights.
- Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze develop the first self-contained demand valve.
- Robert Boyle, studies compression and decompression in animals.
- William Bauer successfully dives aboard his second submarine, the Seeteufel.
- William Thompson takes the first underwater picture.
- August Schrader begins manufacturing diving equipment.
- The Royal Navy establishes the first diving school.
- Auguste Siebe’s closed diving dress is used during the salvage of the HMS Royal George.
- Signs of decompression sickness are recorded for the first time during the salvage of HMS Royal George.
- A military helmet diving unit is established in the U.K.
- Charles Condert designs and tests a self-contained system. If William James’ self-contained system (1825) was in fact never built or tested, Condert’s invention would be the world’s first functional scuba.
- K. Gauzen designs a surface-supplied helmet.
- William James designs a successful self-contained underwater breathing apparatus but there is no evidence that it was ever built or tested.
- Charles and John Deane modify a fire-fighting helmet and air supply system for use underwater.
- James Rennie designs a surface-supplied rectangular diving bell.
- Friedrich von Drieberg proposes the Triton apparatus.
- Robert Fulton builds the Nautilus submarine.
- John Smeaton makes major improvements to the diving bell.
- Karl Heinrich Klingert demonstrates his diving apparatus.
- David Bushnell builds the first submersible used in combat, the Turtle.
- Charles Spalding builds a wooden bell.
- Benjamin Franklin makes a pair of wooden fins.
- Fréminet designs a brass helmet.
Jacob Rowe designs a diving barrel to salvage a wreck off the Cape Verdes.
- John Lethbridge develops the Lethbridge Diving Machine.
- Andrew Becker develops a leather diving suit
- Pierre Rémy de Beauve develops a surface-supplied diving suit and helmet.
- First dives for sustenance and to conduct war