La Spirotechnique CG45 Regulator

France, circa 1947.1948 – ISDHF Collection

This was the first model of Aqua Lung regulator to be imported into the USA from France, and arrived in 1948. This regulator was developed by Jacques–Yves Cousteau and Emil Gagnan in 1943 and went into full production in 1945, the year WWII ended. The model uses the inventor’s initials (CG) and the year it was patented, 19(45).

These models were imported by Rene Bussoz and sold at his store in Westwood Village in Los Angles. Some units were purchased by divers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. They soon devised a training program using them. This program became the foundation of scuba diving instruction in America, and the CG45 regulator was its corner stone. Rene Bussoz formed U.S. Divers in 1950, which eventually formed into the Aqua Lung company of today.

Acquired from the Phillippe Burrel collection by Leslie Leaney for ISDHF. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emil Gagnan are both inductees in the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.