ELDRED, Edward “Ted” Francis
Last updated: December 19, 2019 at 4:16 am
Inventor of the first commercially produced single-hose regulator; began work on the development of a recreational oxygen rebreather in 1945 before designing the world’s first single-hose regulator, the Porpoise, in 1949. Limited numbers of the regulator were produced until 1952 when Eldred founded the Breathing Appliance Company. Full production of the Porpoise began in 1953. The revolutionary regulator was soon adopted by the Royal Australian Navy. Eldred’s company and patent was acquired by French firm Air Liquide, which also owned U.S. Divers Corp. and the patent to the Aqua-Lung, in 1960. More than 12,000 units of the Porpoise regulator and its variations (Porpoise Universal and Sportsman) were manufactured from 1952 to 1975. Eldred and RAN Commander Maurice “Batts” Batterham also founded the first recreational scuba school at the Melbourne City Baths in 1953. Eldred was the inaugural recipient of the Ted Eldred Award which was established by the Historical Diving Society Australia-Pacific in 2003.