About the Historical Diving Society

The Historical Diving Society, USA is an educational, non-profit (501C3) organization whose mission statement is: “To preserve, study, compile archive and disseminate information relating to the history of human underwater intervention and to promote public awareness of and participation in underwater activities”.

Founded in 1992, the HDS USA has established itself as the benchmark standard for the compilation, documentation, preservation and dissemination of historical record of all divisions of diving. Military, Commercial, Scientific and the Sport/Recreational diving industries are all represented within the HDS archive of historical record.

The Society’s quarterly publication, the “Journal of Diving History is the premier resource for diving history content and is both highly regarded and sought by diving professionals worldwide.

The Historical Diving Society USA is comprised of dive industry leaders who are committed to the mission on behalf of future generations.

The HDS is supported by a membership base as well as sponsors who understand and appreciate the importance of our mission. Each tax deductible donation helps make this valuable work possible. When you decide to make a donation, join as a member or purchase an item from our online shop, you do much more than provide ongoing operational funding, you become an active participant in preserving history for all to benefit from. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the Historical Diving Society USA using your Credit Card or Paypal account, you may do so here. To become a member of the Historical Diving Society, please enroll here.

The HDS-USA prides itself on its valuable works which has attracted the support of the world’s top dive industry leaders, many of whom sit on the HDS-USA board of directors and Advisory Board.

Over the decades some of these legendary figures include oceanographer Sylvia Earle; pioneering diver, photographer, filmmaker, scientist and author Hans Hass; the First Lady of the Sea Lotte Hass; ocean explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau; Diving Systems International founder and equipment developer Bev Morgan; Newtsuit inventor Phil Nuytten; Divers Alert Network founder Peter Bennett; astronaut /aquanaut Scott Carpenter; renowned underwater photographer Ernie Brooks II; American diving legend E.R. Cross; French diving pioneer Andre Galerne; Oceaneering founder Lad Handelman; D.U.I. founder Dick Long; Body Glove founders Bob and Bill Meistrell; leading British medical authority Sir John Rawlins; deep-ocean scientist Andreas Rechnitzer; Scubapro founder Dick Bonin; and hyperbaric specialist J. Thomas Millington to name a few. Many of these truly special human beings have passed, but their visionary support helps insure that not only their stories, but those of countless others and their contributions in history will remain in place directly through the works of the Historical Diving Society USA. 

About Society Logo

The HDSUSA logo depicts a helmet manufactured in London around the middle of the 19th century by Augustus Siebe, who is generally considered “the father of deep sea diving.” In much the same way that Cousteau and Gagnan’s Aqualung launched world recreational diving, the designs incorporated in Augustus Siebe’s equipment provided a safe and efficient means for man to work under the sea. It was the Augustus Siebe helmet design and its accompanying apparatus that launched the trade of the diver.

The Augustus Siebe helmet gained a reputation for safety during its use on the wreck of The Royal George in 1840. The combination of features incorporated in its design became the standard for helmet construction throughout most of the world, and certain features were incorporated into the design of modern-day space suits.