Legends of Diving Articles


A Little Historical Tidbit
by Dr. Sam Miller
© 2010 Dr. Sam Miller
All Rights Reserved.

I am of a different era; a different generation.

SS was virtually unknown until WW 11, 1941 to 1945, even after the war it was expensive and rare in spearfishing equipment; much was modified from other objects, WW11 bayonets became dive knives and Ab irons, Ford springs also became Ab irons, home made guns were generally hinge guns -- all subject to rust.

The basic commercial rubber guns were the Rene Calavero produced Arbalete, the short lived Aqua Bow and the Sampson. All came with cold rolled steel (CRS) shafts ( arrows) which were guaranteed to rust after a few submersions. Herb Samson was the most verbal about CRS he contended that the flesh of a SWB & YT was soft so the shaft should bend ..and of course the diver purchase a new one from him.

The tribes used a variety of substances to prohibit rust appearing such as , motor oil and grease (the best was water pump grease)-- shot a fish and it tasted like a gas station.

Serendipitously we discovered that the common bacon was the idea protectant ,so a strip of common Bacon became a integral component of the divers armamentarium. Immediately after the dive all the possible parts subject to rusting were rubbed with a piece of bacon and often even before the dive .-- Shoot a fish with too much bacon on the shaft and it tasted like pork.

In those days of yesteryear Bacon was the idea protectant / lubricant...Now it must come in a can or a jar from the big Orange front store. Some times I wish for the "Good Ole Days.'


Archive Library

Visit the Archive of Sam Miller Vintage Articles

© 2010 Dr. Sam Miller
All Rights Reserved.

Thank you for your interest in Dr. Sam Miller's History
of SCUBA diving. The text in this article is the sole property of Dr. Sam Miller, he is the exclusive author. Portage Quarry has presented it in its entirety with no editorial review. They are copyrighted and cannot be used in any way without the written permission of Dr. Sam Miller. If you would like a copy of this
article please contact the

Portage Quarry Recreation Club, Inc.
12701 South Dixie
Bowling Green OH, 43402

©1999-2021 International Legends of Diving
All Rights Reserved


free hit counters