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>>#>   The first use of an independent
>>#>   apparatus was by an American, Charles Condert. He built and used
>>#>   a horseshoe shaped waist mounted air container which provided a
>>#>   continuous flow of air to a flexible helmet. Condert dived with
>>#>   this equipment many times in New York's East River before his death,
>>#>   due to a broken air tube in 1832.
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And should you get to the French Riviera take a trip to Monaco and visit the
maritime museum.  A very nice aquarium and a collection of dive gear that
goes back hundreds of years.
 
CH
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