diving, deep-sea: Development of Diving Vessels

Development of Diving Vessels

Several types of large metallic structures have been used as underwater diving vessels since early times. Aristotle, as early as 360 b.c., mentions sponge divers using primitive vessels. Otis Barton's bathysphere—a hollow, globular steel structure built to withstand tremendous pressure—was used in undersea exploration in the 1930s, but an attached steel cable and winch limited its mobility. The first free and self-contained diving craft was Auguste Piccard's bathyscaphe. His craft, the Trieste, descended (1960) to 35,000 ft (10,668 m), the deepest known point in the ocean.

See also submarine, submersible.

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