Las Vegas, Rene Sports, Los Angeles discussed on Scuba Shack Radio
Few been listening to scuba shack radio. You'll know that. I've been doing segments on the original five. Us scuba equipment manufacturers in the united states to refresh. I've already covered voight health ways and decor that leaves swim master and us divers. Why thought i'd cover swim master in this episode. But i was stymied in my research. There just isn't that much i can find. I'm not sure if swim master actually started out as spear fishermen or was already in existence before they bought spear fisherman. Apparently spear fishermen was started by arthur brown in one thousand nine hundred forty five and by nineteen fifty-five liz either sold to or became swim. Master ultimately swim master was acquired by void in nearly nine thousand nine hundred sixties. Beyond that i ran into dead ends are continue to poke around and if i come up with more i'll pass it along shots so our shift my focus and said to us divers but we have to stay. It's a little complicated. So let's start at the beginning. Us divers originally started out. As rene sports rene sports was a small sportswear company in los angeles owned by rene bezos. The store probably opened the early nineteen forties as rene had immigrated to the united states in nineteen thirty. Nine from france rene boos was born in paris in nineteen o six. His father was an inventor and one of his inventions was a slot machine. While rene i came to the us helping his father deliver slot machines in las vegas. He fell in love with america and moved his family to los angeles where he opened his sportswear company. The primary clientele for rene sports was free divers and the underwriting underwater hunting community. There's some conflicting information on. Just how rene was introduced to scuba diving some indications are that he saw the cousteau aqualung in a store in paris and contacted Cousteau directly. There's another story. Cousteau brought six regulators to the west coast. And left them with rene well about this same time and the old gag non had moved to montreal and set up a division of lehrer liquid there and was using a company in the us called sparkle to distribute their equipment. I also found some stories. That rene wasn't happy with the six unity had so along with glenn mccall dick anderson and sam laura. They kind of made them work. So as rene looked to get more regulators landmark. We'd wanted to go wanted them to go through baco but rene wanted none of that. He wanted to distribution rights for the west coast along the way renee sports. Got a contract to provide aqualungs to the us navy. I guess that required that the parts be made in the united states. So i think that's where rene got a license to produce scuba regulators the nineteen fifty two he formed. Us divers out of rene sports and the rest is history. Rene also registered the name. Aqualung fortuitous measure well by nineteen fifty-six larry liquid wanted to terminate the exclusive agreement with. Us divers after some tense. Negotiations rene finally sold us divers to lehrer liquid for three million dollars in nineteen fifty seven and jock. Cousteau was named chairman of the board of directors in two thousand three. Us divers was renamed. Aqua lung america and the spirit techniques which was part of layer liquid was renamed aqualung international. As i mentioned there was some pretty complex arrangements back then and somewhat difficult unwind stivers name still lives on however an aqualung uses it for some of their school. snorkeling gear. But whatever happened to rene booze well. He wasn't able to stay in the united states he could not get Become a naturalized citizens and it was forced to return back to france. Perhaps that is another reason why he sold the company as to why you cannot obtain citizenship that had been may have been something to do with his avoiding military service during world war two or perhaps his battling in federal court over tariffs back in france. He became a golf course entrepreneur and he passed away in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine. So that's a little bit about. Us divers or as we know it today as aqua lung one of the five original scuba diving equipment manufacturers in the united states gone but certainly not forgotten.