Many thanks to Steven Taylor of the HDS SEAP for his great contribution to this chapter. Steve recently published a diving manual for historical diving called ‘Diving the Classics’

Stephen Taylor


Standard Dress Sport Diving. "A Practical Guide to Sport Dive the Classic Standard Dress Diving Helmet".

Stephen K. Taylor

This very informative book came about because of the interest of recreational scuba divers (and indeed non divers) in the use of the traditional old "hard-hat" equipment used exclusively before the advent of on-demand scuba and surface supplied hookah diving. It is only recently that the fascinating use of this early design diving apparatus by recreational divers gives an added perspective of their enjoyment underwater. The physics may be the same as scuba but the operation and enjoyment is a new experience that is growing to such an extent that many divers are now buying old equipment and fully restoring it for recreational use, or even buying new equipment which, perhaps surprisingly is still available. Of particular interest is the fact that in 2009 and 2010, a recreational standard dress course has been conducted in Portland, Victoria, by Professional Diving Services with the endoursement of the international NAUI organization. This excellent book gives a very useful background for anyone interested in standard dress diving, both from an historic and a practical perspective. It describes in some detail some of the ‘hardhat helmets' that are currently used recreationally, and the accompanying accessories such as the dress, boots, weights etc, describing the equipment terminology and its fundamental use. The new skills required, predominantly to do with air control and buoyancy, are described in some detail, and of course maintenance of equipment and diver safety is emphasized throughout. The author recently dived in the Melbourne Aquarium in his own standard dress and allows a page to describe the experience - something that the public will see more frequently over the years I am sure. A delightful book even if you don;t have ambitions to give it a try. Maybe this concise book will chance your mind! .A5 size, saddle stitched (stapled), 44 pages, well illustrated with many mono photographs, resources list.  $15.00

This book can be ordered from:

Our aim is to promote and preserve the rich diving heritage of our region. We have active members throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and around the world. 

We work closely with Historical Diving Societies in the United Kingdom, Europe and USA. We encourage people with an interest in historical diving to join us. 

We are interested in: 

· Early scuba diving

· Helmet (hard hat) diving

· Wartime frogmen

· Collecting diving equipment, books and memorabilia

· Early rebreathers

· Unusual diving gear

· Meeting others with an interest in diving history.

The Society also organises and encourages regional meetings. Regional groups are currently active in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia while meetings are organised between members in other areas. Information about these regional gatherings is made available to all members by post or email, on a regular basis.

The Historical Diving Society ‘South East Asia and Pacific’

The first sporting scuba course in Australia included rebreathers, Porpoise single hose and imported double hose scuba. Professional Diving Services conducted a NAUI certification course to teach the same skills to members of the Historical Diving Society SEAP in 2011. It may be the only sport certified course of the type. With many thanks to Stephen Taylor for his kind help with all Australian chapters.

Aussies Diving Now


the scrapbook of diving history