UNDERWATER ADVENTURES were once limited to the amount of time you could travel round trip while holding your breath. SCUBA—an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. coined by U.S. Army doctor Major Christian Lambert-sen—changed that.
Which is not to say that Chamberlain invented SCUBA gear. In the early 1940s he developed the closed-circuit re-breather for the U.S. Navy, which absorbs carbon dioxide from exhaled breath to allow re-breathing of unused oxygen.
In 1946, famed oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau (left) and creative partner Emile Flanagan earned a spot in the National Inventors Hall of Fame by developing the first open-circuit system in which gas flowed from the cylinder to the diver and out into the water.
It compressed air while also making adjustments for the surrounding pressure, allowing deep sea diving. The Aqua-Lung went on the market in 1952.
Top 10 SCUBA