Vintage Diver

General banter about diving and why we love it.
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oldsalt
I've Got Gills
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Vintage Diver

Post by oldsalt » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:37 pm

PaulHarling.JPG

The man in the picture is Paul Harling. His left hand rests on a 3-window Morse hat and at his right is a WWII surplus gas mask he converted to a dive mask and dived it in 1949. What does this do with SCUBA? How about his making five dives on the Andrea Doria with air in doubled 72's and a Mistral (Mistrial?) two hose regulator? How about still diving at age 78, with his trusty 72 and modified Mistral ("Wouldn't dive with anything else.")?
DiveGear1.JPG

Paul operates a dive museum in Gloucester Massachusetts featuring helmets, regulators, suits, rebreathers, and artifacts from shipwrecks. It is all his own collection. It includes copper spikes from Paul Revere's foundry salvaged from the wreck of the USS New Hampshire. Most of his recovered items sit in other museums. This little warren harbors a far more complete history of diving than is available at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport. To me, these cluttered rooms conatined many treasures, but none more so than the man himself. If you are traveling near by, don't miss this hidden gem.
Hardhats.JPG


-Curt
Happy to be alive.

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no excuses
Extreme Diving Machine
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Re: Vintage Diver

Post by no excuses » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:58 am

now that would be cool to see and to talk to the man, I bet h ewould have some stories to tell.

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oldsalt
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Re: Vintage Diver

Post by oldsalt » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:15 pm

Oh my goodness, yes. If it weren't for the impatience (reasonableness?) of my long suffering wife I would still be there. He really needs someone to set up a website that would feature his artifacts and include some of his oral history. Unfortunately, like many of his generation, "I don't do computers."
-Curt
Happy to be alive.

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sitkadiver
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Re: Vintage Diver

Post by sitkadiver » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:25 am

I spend a good deal of my surface time trying to restore some of my own vintage gear. I've got my grandfather's 1958 Healthways up and running and divnig as well as a non-venturi single stage can.... I think.

Unfortunately, we're losing a huge wealth of knowledge as time passes and a lot of the 'old timers' are fading into history.

I have yet to purchase a Mistral, but everything I hear is that they are the cat meow for double hose regs. I'm sure Mr. Harling will never change regs. Bryan at VDH often refers to them as the AK-47 of double hose regs. They just keep on working no matter what people throw at them. I'm excited to hear form the VDH that new diaphragms are coming out for the Healthways regs. The gold label was a venturi single stage, just like the Mistral and all the early reports are stating that it's breathing as well if not better than Mistral.

I hope he gets a website going. I love checking out the vintage gear. Portage Quarry, thescubamuseum.com, Vintage Double Hose and Vintage Scuba Supply are always there if anyone's looking for a good read.

Next time you see Mr. Harling you'll have to ask if he ever built his own reg out of an O2 diluter valve. The divers in the 50's were true explorers and pioneers and I take my hat off to them.
I do not believe in taking unnecesary risks, but a life without risk is not worth living.
-Charles Lindbergh

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