DACOR - An Original Five
When you own a dive shop people routinely either stop by or call us to see if we're interested in buying their old scuba gear or they have equipment that they used many years ago and went to try to get back into diving and wonder if we can service it. Well that's a whole different discussion than where i wanna go today. Many times the gear that they bring in is from decor one of the original five. Us manufacturers scuba diving equipment in the united states. We've already covered two of those five here on scuba shack radio voice and health ways and i'll get to the other to swim. Master stivers down the road today. We're going to talk about decor. The davidson corporation was founded in nineteen fifty three by samuel davidson junior. Sam took the da from davidson and decio are from corporation and put them together to form decor i read somewhere online at sam patented the name and even gave the patent number three dot one two eight four eight one. Why tried to find that specific patent and couldn't find that where he patented the name but that number came up with something called a safety float that was submitted by samuel davidson junior filed in nineteen sixty. One so interesting. So how did sam davidson get interested in scuba diving. Well sam richard klein who started health ways was also in the united states marine corps during world war two he was stationed on guam and it said that he had gotten hold of some japanese goggles and started to explore underwater after the war. His interest in exploring underwater continued back then. Getting reliable. scuba equipment wasn't easy. So sam hooked up with an old neighborhood friend named bob olsen and they decided to build their own double hose regulator well somewhere along the way a buyer from montgomery ward department store chain found out about the regulator and purchase ten later. They update to three hundred. Sam had a business. He borrowed ten thousand dollars from his mother and got rolling by nineteen fifty five decor was producing what they called their dial breath. Double hose regulator sam along with another engineer while he mitchell continue to work on regulator development along with other scuba diving equipment from my review of the old decor catalogs. It looks like they didn't introduce their first. Single hose regulator the decor dart until one thousand nine hundred sixty two although they had developed earlier some say four years before sports ways introduced. There's but as a as we've seen with health ways and dick anderson's work a lot of folks who are innovating at this time. One of the ways. I like to research. these early. Manufacturers is look at their old catalogues. The cg forty-five website has a lot of reference material. Along with these old catalogs the earliest decor catalog that i was able to review from thousand nine hundred sixty one. That was the same year that see honda ended. The catalog was a whopping four pages. Long it had there are three double hose. Dial breath regulator for eighty two dollars. They complete single tanks system for one hundred and forty four dollars and a double host set up for doubles. Set up for two hundred and twenty nine. You could pay an extra five dollars to get yellow tanks. The cadillac had one mask one snorkel and one set of things by nineteen sixty two their line expanded with the d one day corridor. Single hose regulator and a new are four dial breath double hose. Remember that patented safety float. Well it was in thousand nine hundred sixty two catalog over the next couple of years. They continue to innovate with the dart d. Two and a dart with ajay valve for three hundred psi reserve on the first stage they also had the clipper series double hose regulators c two and c three by nineteen seventy decor came out with yet another new regulator line the olympic series with the one hundred two hundred four hundred and eight hundred. The last catalog. I went through was from one thousand nine hundred eighty and decor was touting twenty-six years of diving innovation with a doubling of their space at northfield manufacturing headquarters and the installation of a hyperbaric chamber for regulator testing. Looks like nineteen eighty was the year. They introduced what they touted. As a revolutionary regulator their decor pacer regulators pacer is short for positive air controlled equalizing regulator claiming to have totally balanced first and second stages with a remarkable point zero five inches of water. Cracking pressure wow. That's pretty low. They say they harnessed venturi with something called. Ventura matic something really innovation at this. Time was there microsoft Circuit dive computer. It looks like it took up. Most of your forearm with indicators for deco cent rate depth time readouts and more. It was quite a marvel for the time. Sam davidson passed away in nineteen eighty seven and sam's wife. Joan became ceo by nine thousand nine hundred ninety eight. Joan sold decor tomorrow's an overtime the decor named faded into our diving history. I did see a short article in two thousand five edition of sport diver and it was from nari and they indicated that they could no longer get replacement parts for decor regulators because the parts suppliers had destroyed their mold before they can move all of that to the marez a facility in palo italy. So that's a little bit of the history of sam davison junior the davidson corporation and decor one of the five original scuba equipment manufacturers in the united states.