early goggling

Guy Gilpatric (1896-1950) was a pilot and author with an overwhelming interest in diving and a particularly rigorous regime.

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“I had always lived the outdoor life when I wasn’t in the house, never drinking anything stronger than whisky except vodka and rarely smoking more than one cigarette at a time”.

One chapter in his book The Compleat Goggler was entitled thus: Garglings of a garrulous goggler, witnessing wonders, telling lies, exploring wrecks and hunting treasures.

Medusa goggles found here

“I must explain that goggle fishing doesn’t mean fishing for goggles….. it’s fishing with a spear and watertight eyeglasses. I made my first pair from an old pair of flying goggles, plugging up the ventilating holes with putty and painting over them.”

template for making WW1 aviation goggles here

Some of these early gogglers were not immune to divers’ tales. The Blanchet brothers say they wrestled an enormous groper for two hours before landing him. When they got him home, he sprang back into life, wrecked the kitchen, chased Mother Blanchet three times around the parlour and ate a framed chromo-lithograph of the battle of Austerlitz before they calmed him with an axe.

image of groper found here

Alec Kramarenko made a cast of his face so that he could mould his device to its contours. He constructed a face mask out of celluloid, dissolving photographic film in acetone and painting it layer by layer on to the cast. Then he made a lead mould into which he poured molten rubber.

learn how to mould paint splatter in photoshop here

Others took to the seas with pitchforks, ski poles and a type of  spear gun that Kramarenko invented. An English yachtsman bought two guns and employed beaters to drive mullet towards him as of they were grouse. He caught 70 fish in a day. ‘We were vastly cheered,’ Gilpatric admitted, ‘to learn that one of the gunmen had shot himself in the foot.’

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Published in: on December 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm  Comments (34)  
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