Diving history from Renaissance to the present time

Most of the history of diving take place after the 14th century as many discoveries were made. Several ambitious inventors presented and demonstrated their machines, apparatus, and devices. General knowledge of many aspects of diving increased with a better understanding of physics, mathematics, physiology. Crafting became more advanced and industrialized and new materials became available.

1715
Depiction of John Lethbridge diving barrel around 1715

John Lethbridge sucessfully salvage wrecks with his diving barrel

In 1715, an english wool merchant, John Lethbridge, invented a diving barrel. Using his invention, he successfully salvage from several wrecks from which he got rich. One of his better-known salvage is in Madeira from..More about

Image from 1715, Pierre Rémy de Beauve Diving dress

One of the first diving dress from Pierre Rémy de Beauve

In 1715, Sir Pierre Rémy de Beauve, a French aristocrat who served as “garde de la marine” in Brest, build one of the oldest known diving dress. A metal helmet connected to two hoses would..More about

1691
Edmond Halley builds the first air supplied diving bell

Edmond Halley builds the first air supplied diving bell

In 1691, Edmond Halley build a diving bell with air supplied from the surface. Extending the length of the stay. This was done using weighted barrels filled at the surface with air and then sent..More about

1681
Cover of the 1681 book fom Jean de Hautefeuille, L'art de respirer sous l'eau

Abbe Jean de Hautefeuille writes “The art of breathing underwater”

Abbe Jean de Hautefeuille a priest, inventor and physicist write the book named “L’art de respirer sous l’eau”. French title for the Art of breathing underwater. In this book written in 1681, he explains for the first..More about

1662
Boyle's book, New experiments physico-mechnical Touching The Spring of the Air and its effects

Robert Boyle publish his law of ideal gas

Boyle’s law was first published in 1662 by Robert Boyle in his book titled; New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring of the Air, and its Effects. His theory is a fundamental principle of physics that..More about

1620
20th Century Painting Depiction of Cornelius Van Drebbel submersible vessel

Cornelius Van Drebbel builds the first submersible vessel

Around the year of 1620 while working for the royal navy a dutch man named Cornelius Van Drebbel constructed the first submersible vessel. He even took King James I as a passenger on a tryout..More about

1616
1616 - Drawing of a diving bell by Franz Kessler

Franz Kessler designed an improved diving bell

Franz Kessler drew plans for a new dive bell in 1616. An improvement was that glass ports were added to allow the diver to see. Another feature is that the bell seemed untethered. However, this..More about

Because of the hostile environment and the physiological limits of humans, progress in diving has slowed down. Even in the age of electronics, computers, wireless and miniaturization, the ocean remains the least explored places on earth. For regular divers, we can say that more people have walked on the moon than venturing deeper than 300 meters.

This timeline will take you through many and most of the important moments in the history of diving. Great people invented equipment, others were doing research in decompression theory. Some are important achievements, some ended in tragic ways. But they all made diving possible in the way we know it today.