It is not yet popularly known, but Gosport is the home of the global diving industry. The co-inventor of the diving helmet, John Deane, lived in Gosport from 1835 to 1845 during which time he discovered the Mary Rose. The first diving helmet ever sold by the inventors was to a Gosport mariner, Henry Abbinett. Gosport represents a natural home for the country's premier historical diving museum.
From ancient times man has reaped the natural treasures of the oceans – pearls and coral have been collected since at least 5000 BC. The 18th century saw an explosion of interest in recovering treasures from sunken vessels. Experimentation with diving bells was followed by the invention of the diving helmet in the 19th century – commercial diving was born. After the Second World War, sport diving became popular. Today, divers can work at depths as great as 300 m doing everything from military operations, oilfield support, salvage and construction to fish farming, archaeology, research – and even just for fun! From ancient to modern, it’s all at The Diving Museum.
The Diving Museum is an outreach project of the Historical Diving Society and it is manned entirely by volunteers.