Porpoise scuba

The “Porpoise” book reprint

Australian Diving Technology the World Copied

By Des Walters, Des Williams, Mel Brown AM and Tony Gregory

When La Spirotechnique and Aqua-Lung were only producing twin hose scuba and had never dreamed of a single hose system, along came an Australian who changed scuba diving forever. This is the complete story of the engineering brilliance of Australia’s Ted Eldred and the development of his Porpoise scuba, which set today’s world-wide diving standard. Acknowledged by many including HDS US and HDS Australia-Pacific, as the first to mass produce the single hose, 2 stage scuba system as used by scuba divers today. In this book you will learn about:

• the history,
• prototypes
• early production,
• timeline of model changes,
• parts lists,
• exploded parts views,
• marketing,
• the 1961 Lake Eucumbene dive,
• the 1956 Elcho Island pearl divers school and
• the first Australian recreational scuba school.
A prolific inventor of diving equipment, Ted Eldred’s inventions also included an oxygen rebreather and hookah unit. Eldred’s manufacturing company was named “The Breathing Appliance Company” and his equipment was branded with the “Porpoise” name and image.

Researched and written over three years by HDS Aus-Pac members Des Walters, Des Williams, Mel Brown AM and Tony Gregory; as a salute to Ted Eldred’s pioneering contribution to the world of recreational scuba diving.

• A4 size
• 170 pages
• Perfect bound
• Over 260 images including many rare contemporary images and advertising

The first printing of 100 was sold out quickly. This is a second print of only 50 pieces. No collection of scuba history can be complete without the story of the invention of the single hose, 2 stage scuba.
The book is only available from Mel Brown for $30 plus postage. Postage is dependent on the quantity purchased and the destination. Please contact Mel Brown on melvenbrown@gmail.com for a postage quote and to arrange payment.

Porpoise scuba

The Porpoise Book Cover

Dick Charles wearing his safety belt

Richard (Dick) Charles

2017 AGM Location

2017 AGM

Saturday 14th of October 2017 at 2:00 pm

Port of Melbourne Education Centre

343-383 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne

The AGM will be held promptly at 2 pm. Following the AGM the committee will hold a meeting.

Pre-dinner drinks and dinner will be held at the Maori Chief Hotel in South Melbourne. On the Sunday, Des Williams will host a diving history walking tour of Melbourne in the morning. In the afternoon, members can visit historic Williamstown and the ex HMAS Castlemaine Maritime Museum which includes a Siebe Gorman standard diving set.

See your Classic Diver for more details.

2017 AGM Location

2017 AGM Location


Diver in Robison helmet Portland Rally 2017

NAUI Standard Dress Course & Rally 10 – 12 June 2017

The 2017 NAUI Standard Dress Course and Rally sets record number of participants

Sixteen students took the course with almost all of them successfully completing it.  Due to a couple of problems one student will return next year to finish the course.

Meanwhile the rally was attended by approximately 30 divers.  That’s a record number and with the large student contingent the number of attendees was the largest ever.

A big thank you to Frank Zeigler of Professional Diving Services (PDS) for hosting us again.  Thanks to all his staff that helped, especially Leslie Zelenc who was in charge of all the pre event organisation.  A big thanks to Steve Taylor who ran the class work again and some of the diving training.   Of course we couldn’t do it without our safety divers who spend a long time in the cold water (it’s the middle of winter in Australia for those overseas).

A highlight of the weekend was getting 2 Robison helmets back in the water.  The Robison is the only mass produced, Australian made helmet.  They were only made during World War II and the numbers were fairly small.  Leon Lyons was told only 75 were made.  HDS Aus-Pac’s highest recorded number is in the high 40’s.  Based on the Heinke Pearler they were not popular with the navy and other government organisations who ordered some of them.  While it’s not known how long since one of them was dived it would be a significant time and great to see 2 in the water.

Picture: Diver in Robison helmet exiting the water after a successful dive.

Helmet Diving Video

Max Gleeson, author of several excellent books on NSW shipwrecks, and the Yongala, and cinematographer, has kindly made available online a video of the NAUI Helmet Diving Course held in Portland, Victoria. 

Diver Adverts

As mentioned in previous issues of our magazine, we are running free classified ads for members in “Classic Diver” magazine.

If you would like to advertise your interests, equipment you are looking for, books you have for sale or exchange, gear you have for sale – anything related to diving history please email a short description directly to our Editor, Jeff Maynard at jkmaynard@bigpond.com

Make sure you include your name and email (along with address or phone number if you want).

20th Anniversary Celebrations

2016 was the 20th anniversary of the Historical Diving Society Australia-Pacific.

A number of things were done to celebrate the event. First there was a bumper edition of our magazine, Classic Diver. This was published in Spring. Anniversary cloth badges were distributed to all current members and will be issued to new members in the 2016-2017 year.  The AGM was held in South Australia where the society was formed.  In conjunction with the AGM an excellent conference was held and we hope to make videos available at a later date.  Some items may also appear in future editions of Classic Diver.