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Basic gear from mid-twentieth-century France

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by David Wilson, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
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    The "Champion Arbalete" was sold under a number of different names in the USA by both Voit and US Divers and was produced in different barrel lengths, but the jumbo sized "Requin Flottante" was only produced in France.
    Champion Requin Flottante detail R.jpg
    I have the remains of a "Requin Flottante", but the rear barrel tube and mid-handle mechanism that controls a disappearing rest tab have long since disappeared when someone tried to convert the long gun to a standard Arbalete with two grip handles.

    Here are the original instructions for loading this nearly 2 meter long cannon.
    Cavalero Champion Arbalete Requin Flottante instructions.jpg
     
    David Wilson likes this.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Pete: It's wonderful to see this 1946 Champion catalogue. :) Thank you so much for posting! Would you mind adding any missing French pages from this catalogue? Page 3, perhaps, and the French version of page 8 (I'm particularly keen to see whether the French term "tuba" is used for "snorkel")? If there is a catalogue page devoted to Champion fins, I'd dearly love to see it too...
     
  3. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    152
    130
    43
    Here is page 8 in French. All pages are shown as the figure numbers are from 1 to 13, so the page marked with a "2" by persons unknown is actually the last page of a fold up document, a style used by Beuchat/Peche Sport for decades.
    Cavalero Champion 1946 page 8.jpg
    Plus the patent for the "Requin Flottante".
    Champion Requin speargun patent 1954.jpg
     
    David Wilson likes this.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    1,773
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    So revenons à nos moutons. We were in mid-review of Champion diving masks with the Junior and the Junior Securit covered.

    Champion Deluxe and Standard diving masks
    Deluxe-Standard.jpg
    You'll find the image and the captions for these models in the Finnish Diving Museum's Cavalero catalogue at http://www.sukellusmuseo.fi/esitteet/cavallero.pdf. They appear to be the adult versions of the Junior masks reviewed here a few days ago. The ribs for reinforcement are present and the focus is on the wide view the mask is designed to provide. I'm uncertain about the significance of the descriptor "bellows-type", which I would associate more with a flex-hose snorkel than a mask, and this mask doesn't appear to have a nose-pinch compensator, corrugated or not. Perhaps it's a reference to the edges of the mask skirt in contact with the face.
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Next up is the Champion Mirador diving mask.

    Champion Mirador diving mask
    Mirador.jpg
    This model appears in both catalogues. The caption seems to solve the puzzle I posed in the previous posting: the "elastic bellows" may be just another way of describing the rubber body of the mask or the portion of the skirt in contact with the face. The ribbing is there once again, reflecting concern about the mask collapsing under pressure against the face when diving deep.

    I'll finish here for the day. Many more Champion masks to go, but we appear to have covered the "plain" oval mask designs in the company's repertoire. We'll move on next time to some compensator models.
     
  7. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    152
    130
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    The familiar dive mask has many predecessors, but for recreational diving the dive mask devised by Charles Henry Wilen (an American) and Alexandre Kramarenko (a Russian emigre) living in the South of France on the Mediterranean Coast created something to use other than fire-fighting goggles (Fernez) or aviator’s goggles adapted to free diving. An interesting comment in the "Compleat Goggler" is that spearfishermen could at times smell the fish in the water, such as Liche, which may sound odd until you remember that fish relieve themselves in the water and with the nostrils exposed this is a possibility. Many wore nose clips with their masks, but not everyone did so.
    Wilen and Kramarenko dive mask.jpg
     
  8. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    152
    130
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    This is a famous photo of Mary Belewsky wearing one of these early dive masks in May 1941 at Cap d'Antibes on the south coast. A fantastic image that you never forget, an original print will cost you over a grand, this version being slightly cropped.
    Mary Belewsky Cap d'Antibes May 1941.jpg
     
  9. АлександрД

    АлександрД Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Moscow, Russia
    670
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    tumblr_o9pcpreAuI1uwmtq8o1_1280.jpg
    was found here , picture made by Jacques Henri Lartigue
    I think this is biggest, ever found in internet :)
    Thank you for share this!
     
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  10. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    152
    130
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    Yes, that is the full image, and to buy it this is what you have to pay, however the clarity and contrast of the original is spectacular.
    Mary Belewsky Cap D'Antibes May 1941 gallery print.jpg
     
    АлександрД likes this.

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