Time Capsules

By Tamara Collins

1982 The Quest for Treasure

Skin Diver has had a long love affair with underwater treasure, archaeology and salvage. One of its first articles on the pursuit of the relics that lie beneath was written by Robert Marx (profiled this issue on page 90) in September 1955. The 21-year-old marine had just found the Monitor, the Civil War Iron-Clad lost in 1862 off the coast of North Carolina. Marx contributed several articles throughout the years, until he finally landed on the cover in April 1982. Inside, his article tracked the history of treasure hunting, revealing what still holds true today it is big business, with millions of dollars invested and millions spent on the gamble that riches still lie for the taking beneath the sea.

1977 On the Set of the Deep

Many celebrities have landed on the cover of Skin Diver, from Lloyd Bridges to Sean Connery, but none have caused quite the stir that this T-shirt clad actress did in June 1977. Apparently, Jacqueline Bisset was not too happy about this revealing photograph, taken in Bermuda on the set of The Deep. Also filmed in the British Virgin Islands and Australia, Peter Benchley's The Deep was the biggest and most expensive undersea film ever made and utilized the world's largest underwater set. It was big news in the diving community, containing all the elements of a diver's fantasy treasure, wrecks and sharks. On the set were two of the best underwater photographers in the business, Stan Waterman and Al Giddings.

1967 What Ever Happened to Liquid Air?

It could have been the wave of the future; the dawn of a new era in diving. It was lightweight, compact, carried a six- to eight-hour air supply, was easy to use, and as of the printing of this article in June 1967, seemed relatively safe. Cryogenics had been used in research laboratories, aerospace and medicine, so why not scuba? This was what prompted Jim Woodberry to invent the liquid air scuba device, which was made up of a pair of Dewar tanks to hold and insulate the liquid air and a system of pipes, valves, warming coils and tubing that transformed the liquid air to breathable air. The system's estimated cost was about $300 to the diver, but dive shops would have to invest around $9,000. Was it the investment of money or imagination that put the freeze on cryogenic scuba?