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Scuba Shack Radio
34. Lets talk about save-a-dive kits and Healthways an original scuba equipment provider - burst 6
"Several months ago, I did a segment on voight. One of the original five scuba equipment manufacturers in the United States. As a reminder, those original five were decor. US, divers swim master Voi-, and health ways, and we know that void bought swim master in the early nineteen sixties. Today. I want to continue the discussion on these original five with a look at health ways. My research took me on some interesting twists and turns. A relay what I pieced together. But I'll caution. The things might not been. Things may have been a little bit different than what I present here. First. Let's talk about the founder of health ways. That was Richard Klein. Richard was born in one, thousand, nine, hundred, six in Maine. And he enlisted in the marine. Corps at the age of fourteen. Back then I guess you could get away with lying about your age. While he was in the Marines Richard studied calisthenics in bodybuilding. and. When he was discharged, he ended up in Atlantic city acting as a strong man. That's when he was discovered by a paramount pictures executive who brought him out west to the paramount studios where his job was to make. The movie stars Look Fit. While in his job, at Paramount Richard Started, a company called health ways. Hollywood and Nur tagline was America's way to health. The company had a wider range of fitness equipment and early nine thousand nine hundred fifties. They had water sports. Department that included things like Basques spear guns. And Fins and they called the Finns Webbie's. In one thousand, nine, hundred fifty four health ways obtain distribution rights to the LG. Declare regulator. If you WANNA learn more about LG Arpan. There's a great article in one of the old journal of diving histories by I'd liberal shelf. You can go and do some research on that. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, fifty, six, Richard Hired, Richard, E. Dick Anderson to establish a scuba equipment department. Diver Dick Anderson is interesting, Pioneer and scuba, and I'll probably have to do a podcast just on his accomplishments. They're pretty extensive. Diver. Dick also brings on Sam Lecoq to help him design house ways own regulator. They introduce their double hose regulator and name Scuba. I guess the copyrighted the name. Scuba I read somewhere that because of this copyright. US divers had to go with the term aqualung. The scuba regulator was produced between nineteen, Fifty, seven and nineteen fifty-nine. During this time both Dick Anderson and Sam la coke had left health ways. Sam Start at sports ways another manufacturer and produced a regulator that he called water lung. The water long. Caused some litigation with US divers because they were using the term aqualung. Don't know how that turned out. By one, thousand, nine, hundred, Fifty, eight Dick Anderson rejoined health ways, and he was the chief engineer of research. By nineteen sixty, the company was producing a new model called Scuba Deluxe. Health wise also developed scuba. Pack Harness. The Scuba Star Scuba air in something called the snark. Air SORTA like a snorkel with a pony bottle on it. By nine, hundred, sixty two. It looked like the company was developing a line for professionals called scuba pro. Well Richard Klein hired Bonin and Gustav Delay To head. Up this line. But. Unfortunately health ways went into bankruptcy on December nineteen, sixty two. And you'll find Dick Bonin and Gustav Della Vella Bought Scuba Pro for one dollar. And started what we now know today as scuba pro. But wait, there's more. And this is where things get a little hard to reconcile. Richard Klein unfortunately died in nineteen, sixty three. But health wage did not. According to Alec Pearce on one of these youtube videos, health ways continue to make regulators for scuba pro. I tried to find out more about the bankruptcy, and it took me to a document from the Small Business Investment Company Program from August one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty three. Near as an entry that shows health ways of having sales of two point, nine million dollars with ninety six employees and a prophet of twenty, one thousand eight hundred dollars. It looks like they got some investment money and statement said they were on the road to profitability and operating in the black. Somewhere along the way health ways was acquired by elden industries in Los Angeles. From what I gather Eldin was a may have been a toy company, and it's really hard to find out information about them. In any event, the last thing I could trace was nineteen seventy-one Scuba Cadillac from health ways that showed it as being a subsidiary of elden. I also read along the way that they sold scuba equipment to sears Kmart nine, thousand, nine hundred seventy S. I wasn't able to actually nail down when health ended. So my journey to find out more about one of these original five US scuba manufacturers provided some fascinating twists and turns and Lake Oj all journeys I passed a few interesting side roads. Some I went down. And others yet to be explored. Hope. You enjoy this look at health ways.