Before Cousteau & Gagnan regulators were available in the United States market, people
visited WWII military surplus stores searching for the Diluter model AN 6004-1 oxygen high
pressure regulator. The idea was converting this piece of aviation breathing apparatus into a scuba diving demand regulator.
In the beginning of 1950s dive clubs and spearfishing clubs were starting to form, and their activities were reported in the magazine The Skin Diver magazine. It was very expensive to purchase an Aqua Lung set, so the club members started helping each other to modifying the Oxygen Diluter Regulator to built their diving equipments.
When magazine Popular Science published a cover story titled "Build Your Own Diving Lung" in its July 1953 issue, it accelerated the race to customize the Diluter regulator. This has also led companies to develop diving units on a commercial level for the emerging market.
The article taucht how to build a dive regulator from a regulator for oxygen (Diluter Demand Regulator type AN 6004-1 and Oxygen Regulator type A-13).
Materials for the construction of the Diving Lung could be found at specialty stores such as Palley Suplly Co., located at 2263 E. Vernon Ave, Los Angeles, Calif. This store marketed diving equipment and supplied the famous Diluter AN 6004-1 for the construction of the equipment described in the magazine.
Advertising material from California
based Palley's of Glendale and Los Angeles, featuring
one and two-tank diving units with Diluter regulators.
In addition, the article has given tips on how to use "Diving Lung" - name given to the dive regulator - and how to behave during the dive.
The English magazine Practical Mechanics, in january of 1955, also published a subject "How to Construct your own Underwater Swimming Apparatus". From a modified low pressure valve and a R.A.F. - Oxygen regulator.
An Advert for the Sea Breather SD-5 from the Sea Net Company.
This was their first advertisement for the unit and appeared in the
second issue of The Skin Diver magazine in January 1952.
The stories of the pioneers using this type of "do it yourself" equipment during the 1940s and 1950s are some of the
pillars of our sport. The unregulated and uncertified days of Diluter diving are
all now part of our collective diving history.
Diluter regulators have earned their place in any early scuba diving collection.
1. Popular Science Magazine - July, 1953.
2. Practical Mechanics magazaine - January,1 955.
3. AD da Palley Suplly Co..
4. The Journal of Diving History Spring 2011,
Volume 19, Issue 2, Number 67 - Ed LaRochele