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New Found Diving Mask Dates Back 65 years Ago

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Before the 1960s, avid scuba divers especially those from New Zealand find it difficult to get some diving gear from abroad. But that didn’t stop them from pursuing their passion and in fact, it even paved the way to fuel their creativity.

Thus, an inventor from New Zealand, Clarence Ducker was able to make a diving mask made from a car inner tube. Specifically, it was a combination of a tyre inner tube and an oval piece of perspex. The Perspex was bound by a thin band of copper and the rubber was cut from the inner tube which makes the mask a fascinating piece of work.

The owner of that Ducker mask, Myra Larcombe re-discovered it recently when she was looking for something else in her home at Opua. Now at 91 years old, she says she did not expect to find the old diving mask and have nostalgic memories of its use.

After she bought it from Clarence and Leo Ducker, the mask opened up a whole new world of underwater diving for her. She can’t remember how much she paid for it but says the mask gives her clarity down to 20 metres on a clear day. It was definitely useful for many years in her diving life and made her so glad she came across it again.

Since Larcombe was a champion swimmer back then, she also possessed great skills in spearfishing. Those excellent skills also saw great use for the mask, most probably.

Although she’s not sure whether to donate it to charity or keep it for now, the 65 year old diving mask is certainly a fascinating invention worthy to be admired by scuba diving enthusiasts.

Larcombe says, "There won't be too many, if any, of these masks around now. I'm not sure what I should do with it but a museum seems the right place."

The diving mask may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no denying that the passion of scuba divers fuelled its improvement and ingenuity today.