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The Heroic Age of Diving: Americas Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie; Jerry Kuntz; 2016

The Heroic Age of Diving: Americas Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie; Jerry Kuntz; 2016
the-heroic-age-of-diving-americas-underwater-pioneers-and-the-great-wrecks-of-lake-erie-jerry-kuntz-2016

The Heroic Age of Diving: America's Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie; Jerry Kuntz;
New York Press, 2016


A comprehensive history of the first three decades of underwater exploration in antebellum America.

Beginning in 1837, some of the most brilliant engineers of America’s Industrial Revolution turned their attention to undersea technology. Inventors developed practical hard-helmet diving suits, as well as new designs of submarines, diving bells, floating cranes, and undersea explosives. These innovations were used to clear shipping lanes, harvest pearls, mine gold, and wage war. All of these underwater technologies were brought together by entrepreneurs, treasure-hunters, and daring divers in the 1850s to salvage three infamous shipwrecks on Lake Erie, each of which had involved the loss of hundreds of lives, as well as the worldly goods of the passengers. The prospect of treasure, combined with the national notoriety of these disasters, soon attracted the attention of local adventurers and the country’s leading divers and marine engineers. In The Heroic Age of Diving, Jerry Kuntz shares the fascinating stories of the pioneers of underwater invention and the brave divers who employed the new technologies as they raced with—and against—marine engineers to salvage the tragic wrecks of Lake Erie.

“Jerry Kuntz has filled in a previously blank page in the story of diving—and done it well. The Heroic Age of Diving tells the story not only of the development of salvage technology but also the human side of this always-dangerous and often-deadly career. This is not a tale for the faint of heart (‘helmet squeeze’ is a gruesome fate), but one well worth reading for those interested in early technology and the men brave (or foolish) enough to gamble their lives using it. This book is a window on an unexplored (and unexpected) world, and the author deserves great credit for bringing it back into the light.” — Chuck Veit, author of Raising Missouri: John Gowen and the Salvage of the U.S. Steam Frigate Missouri, 1843–1852

“The Heroic Age of Diving is both very interesting and very important. Having spent over twenty years researching and publishing general diving history, I am confident that this book will fill an important gap in the nation’s diving history.” — Leslie Leaney, Cofounder, Historical Diving Society

Above from Amazon click on image to "look inside"




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