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Viking / Norserman

 

The double hose Viking / Norseman regulators were developed and manufactured by Christensen Tool and Engineering Inc. and Aerotec Industries Aircraft Division, Greenwich-Connecticut, from 1958 to 1963.

Christensen Tool and Engineering Inc. was founded by Kaj Christensen in 1946.

In 1954, Christensen, using James P. Fay's project, developed the first prototypes of double hose regulators.

In 1955, Fay requested the registration of the first of its four patents.

 

 

The design of the double hose regulator, called Viking, was totally different from the existing traditional designs. It had a "beer-can" shape.

In mid-1955, the NAVY's Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) conducted tests with the regulator and detected some problems in the Viking design.

Fay, with the help of experienced commercial diver George Swindell, made modifications to the project to solve the problems detected. And, in 1958, the commercialization of the double hose Viking started, which was done together with a set consisting of cylinder, backpack and harness.

The Viking was a two-stage regulator and was the first to introduce an optional device that was used as an alternative source of air; the first octopus developed in the dive industry.

 

 

In 1960, Christensen contracted the company Richard Sales and Associates, from Philadelphia - Pennsylvania, to distribute in the USA.

In 1961, Christensen moved from Norwalk - Connecticut to the city Fairfield, in the same state, and added the expression "Norseman" in its name. In the same year, Aerotec Industries Aircraft Division, from Greenwich-Connecticut, a contractor qualified by the US government, started to produce the regulators Norseman.

 

 

 

In 1962/1963, the Viking / Norseman regulators disappeared after a contract with the US Navy.

The four patents on James P. Fay's Viking / Norseman drawings were (US PAT):

- 2,757,680 in 01/31/1955;

- 2,939,456 in 08/06/1956;

- 2,939,471 in 1958;

- 3,050,076 in 1960;

The production of the Viking / Norseman regulators has utilized the hoses and the Kleer E-Z mouthpieces type produced by US Divers. In addition, Tinnerman clamps were used at the regulator body end, and plastic clamps with threaded screws at the mouthpiece

All models had a device consisting of a Breathing Resistance Adjusting Screw, with the exception of Viking at the end of production. The reasons for this do not appear in the manuals and in the existing literature.

 

 

All models feature a device called AIR-TAP, which serves as a coupling for the SAFETY TUBE after removing the cover.

The Buddy Tube was the first known "octotopus", and with the function of being a second stage of safety in case of emergencies. In addition to this function of this low pressure port, it could be used to perform the internal washing of the regulator after the dives. The Norseman NAVY model did not have this AIR-TAP port.

 

 

Another device existing in some models was the Reserve Lever. It had the function, through a preset position, to function as a reserve when the pressure reached 250 PSI. The other function of this lever was to provide extra air when placed in another position.

That is, when the diver needed more air, it was enough to push the lever and the system would go into free-flow. A device also useful to withdraw water from the hoses, through an air flush in.

 

 

There are no records that can determine how many regulators were produced from each model.

 

Viking Double Hose Regulator

This model was manufactured and placed on the market in the period from late 1958 to the end of 1960. The production took place at the Christensen factory in Norwalk, Connecticut.

A production of 2,500-2,600 Viking double hose regulators is estimated.

 

 

 

 

All features of this regulator were developed by Christensen Tool and Engineering.

The label was black and gold with the name The Viking Regulator. The manufacturer's location also appears on the label (Norwalk-Connecticut), in addition to Trade Mark - Pat.Pend.

All regulators of this model had:

- AIR-TAP devices;

- Breathing Resistance Adjusting Screw. This device is no longer used at the end of Viking production;

- Reserve and Flush lever. Note: "Although the bibliography found and some collectors (such as Ed LaRochelle) affirm the inexistence of the Viking regulator without the Reserve Lever, CG-45 Collection owns two regulators without the Reserve Lever, which was named Viking Sportsman. Here is a great mystery!

- Black hoses with mouthpiece Kleer Black E-Z and yellow hoses with mouthpiece Black Kleer E-Z (as used in early 1959);

 

Norseman Professional Double Hose Regulator

The Christensen plant moved to Fairfield-Connecticut in 1961, and Aerotec Industries Inc Aircraft Division, from Greenwich-Connecticut, started manufacturing the Norseman regulators.

The Norseman models were manufactured in 1961 and 1962 (some collectors and authors believe that production occurred also in 1963).

The label was blue and silver with the name Norseman Regulator. The manufacturer's registration and its location also appear on the label (Aerotec Industries Inc - Aircraft Division - Greenwich-Connecticut), in addition to the patent numbers.

The Norseman Professional model had the same features and devices as the Viking model, including the presence of the Breathing Resistance Adjusting Screw.

They had the serial number on the label beginning with the letters "PR" (Professional Regulator). The production was small and it is believed that only 250 regulators of this model were produced.

They were produced with yellow hoses and black mouthpiece/nozzle from the US Divers. They had tinnerman and plastic clamps, similar to Viking regulators.

 

 

 

Norseman Sportsman Double Hose Regulator

This is the rarest of the Norseman models produced. This model did not have the Reserve and Flush lever. They had yellow hoses and a Kleer E-Z black mouthpiece.

The serial number on the label begins with the letters SR (Sportsman Regulator), and is believed that the production was very small of this model (no more than 20 regulators).

 

 

 

 

Norseman Navy Double Hose Regulator- Issue Navyship 394-0067

This model was manufactured for the Navy Department Bureau of Ships in 1962.

The label is the same as that other Norseman models. The prefix "N" was used before the serial number on the label, which was followed by the letter "A" (The CG-45 Collection has one Norseman Navy with the serial number without the followed letter "A").

The production of this model was also not great. It is believed something around 150 regulators produced.

This model did not have the Reserve and Flush lever, nor the AIR-TAP device. The presence of the respiratory resistance adjustment screw is found in this model. They have black hoses and mouthpiece and plastic clamps.

Two platelets with the expressions INTAKE and EXHAUST were attached to the cylindrical body of the regulator, as required by the American Navy, to avoid accidents of inversion of the positioning of the hoses.

 

How to identify regulators without labels

The best way to identify Viking / Norseman regulators that have lost their labels is to check for existing pins on each side between the yoke and the regulator body. If this pin is present, it is a double hose Viking regulator.

 

 

In February 1959, Skin Diver magazine published an article about the company Christensen and its regulators.

 

Reference:

1.  http://vintagedivertreasures.com/VDTdecalPage3.htm

2.  http://www.sandiegodiving.com/education/items/13.html

3.  http://www.vintagedoublehose.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4902

4. Norseman Catalog from Vintage Double Hose Manuals and Catalog Link

5. The Journal of Diving History - Number 68: The Viking/Norseman Regulator - A Collector's Review by Ed Larochelle

 

Viking

Norseman



 
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