. >>#> 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. >\ 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 .