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6-2 Diving Past and Present

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Diving Past and Present

  People have been diving for thousands of years in search of pearls, valuable sponges, fish and other foods.  Pearls have been gathered in the Arabian Gulf since 3000 B. C.  Early divers wore tortoise-shell nose clips to keep water out of their nostrils.  The earliest known divers had no diving equipment, but could dive to 60 - 100 feet (20-30 m) while holding their breath.  As time passed the development of diving aids evolved.   Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Italian artist and inventor, designed a device for breathing underwater.

  In 1690 the astronomer Edmund Halley invented the first diving bell.  Divers sat in a wooden cask (barrel) with an open bottom.  As it was lowered, the air inside was squashed by the rising water, so extra air needed to be pumped in from wooden barrels.  Divers were even able to walk outside of the bell wearing small barrels over their heads.

  In 1837 the first diving suit was developed by a German man named Augustus Siebe.  His invention was called the "Helmet Suit."  This watertight rubber suit had a heavy copper helmet which kept the diver on the seabed.  Air was pumped down from the surface of the water.  Divers were able to work at over 300 feet (90 m) while wearing this.

  In 1865, Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Danayrouze invented a diving set that did not need an air hose from the surface.  The air needed by the diver was carried in a canister and fed through a valve in the helmet.

  Many early divers suffered from a strange, and often fatal disease known as decompression sickness, or the bends.  If divers come to the surface too fast, the decrease in pressure makes the nitrogen gas in their blood form bubbles.  These bubbles block the blood's flow.  Divers with the bends must go into decompression chambers with high air pressure, to make the gas dissolve.  Today, dive computers can work out the safest ascent speed.

  Modern SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) gives divers great freedom under the water.  The Aqua-Lung, the first breathing device which allowed people to dive independently, was invented in the 1940's.  Jacques Cousteau and Frederic Dumas are responsible for developing the demand valve.  This valve gives air to divers when they breathe in (rather than all the time, which wastes air.)

 

Answer the questions below

 

According to this passage Italian artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci

developed the "Helmet Suit."

designed a device for breathing underwater.

invented the Aqua-Lung.

Early divers wore tortoise-shell nose to keep water out of their nostrils.

 

The diving bell was developed in the year .

 

The "Helmet Suit" was a rubber suit with a copper helmet.

 

In 1865, a diving suit was invented where air needed by the diver was carried in a canister and fed through a valve in the .

 
Early divers suffered from a strange, and sometimes fatal disease known as decompression sickness, or the .
 

Today, dive can work out the safest ascent speed, so divers do not suffer from decompression sickness.

 
The "Helmet Suit" was developed in 1837 by
Jacques Cousteau.

Augustus Siebe.

Benoit Rouquayrol.

 
SCUBA stands for
Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

Self-Contained Undersea Breathing Apparatus.

Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Articles.

 
The valve gives air to divers when they breathe in, rather than all the time.

 

 

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