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In recent years it has started to dawn on people who knew about the early offshore pioneering oil-field divers that a remarkable era, overshadowed by a group of remarkable men, had passed by. The golden age of commercial diving took place from the late 1950s up to about the early 1970s and was heavily influenced by pioneering oil-patch divers working offshore Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Joe Savoie, one of those remarkable men, invented the first modern commercial diving helmet. Joe's story is inextricably intertwined with the technical evolution of his diving helmet. In essence, his story is partly the story of his helmet and oil-field diving.
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Gary L. Harris is the author of three books, including Ironsuit: The History of the Atmospheric Diving Suit and The Origins and Technology of the Advanced Extravehicular Space Suit. In addition, he has also written extensively for Underwater Magazine, Immersed Magazine, Spaceflight Magazine and Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine. He now lives with his wife near Cape Canaveral, Florida where he is a consultant to the aerospace company: De Leon Technologies LLC and the University of North Dakotaâ€™s Space Studies Department.
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