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Healthways - an US original

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Learn more about one of the five original 5 scuba manufacturers in the US
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several months ago, I did a segment on Void, one of the original five scuba equipment manufacturers in the United States, as a reminder. Those original five were decor. US. Divers, Swim, Master Void and Healthways, and we know that Void bought Swim master in the early 19 sixties. Today I want to continue the discussion on these Original five would have looked at Healthways. My research took me on some interesting twists and turns. I relay what I pieced together, but I'll caution the things might not have been. Things may have been a little bit different than what I present here. First, let's talk about the founder of Healthways. That was Richard Klein. Richard was born in 1906 in Maine, and he enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 14. Back then, I guess you could get away with lying about your age. While he was in the Marines, Richard studied callous 10 ticks and bodybuilding, and when he was discharged, he ended up in Atlantic City acting as a strong man. That's when he was discovered by a Paramount Pictures executive who brought him out west to the Paramount Studios, where his job was to make the movie stars look fit while in his job. But Paramount Richard started a company called Healthways Hollywood. A nerd tagline was America's way to health. The company had a wider range of fitness equipment In the early 19 sixties fifties, they had a water sports equipment department that included things like masks, spear guns and Finns, and they called the Finns Webbys. In 1954 Healthways obtained distribution rights to the L G Arpin Do their regulator. If you wanna learn more about LG Arpin, there's a great article in one of the old Journal of Diving Histories by Ed Liberal Shelf. You can go and do some research on that 1956. Richard hired Richard E. Dick Anderson to establish a scuba equipment department diver. Dick Anderson is an interesting pioneer in scuba on Will probably have to do a podcast just on his accomplishments. There. Pretty extensive. Diver Dick also brings on Sam Lecoq toe help him design Healthways own regulator. They introduced their double hose regulator and name it scuba. I guess they copyrighted to name scuba. I read somewhere that because of this copyright, U. S divers had to go with the term aqualung. The scuba regulator was produced between 1957 in 1959. During this time, both Dick Anderson and Sam Lecoq had left Healthways. Sam started Sports Ways, another manufacturer, and produced a regulator that he called Water Long the water lung name cause some litigation with US divers because they were using the term aqualung. Don't know how that turned out. By 1958 Dick Anderson rejoined Healthways and he was the chief engineer of research. Um, and by 1960 the company was producing a new model called Scuba Deluxe. Healthways also developed a scuba pack harness, the scuba star Screw Bear and something called the Snore Care, sort of like a snorkel with a pony bottle on it. By 1962 it looked like the company was developing a line for professionals called scuba pro Well. Richard Klein hired Dick Bonin and Gustave de la Vallee to head up this line, but unfortunately, Healthways went into bankruptcy on December 1962 and you'll find a Dick Bonin and Gusta Della Vella bought scuba pro for $1 and started what we now know today as scuba pro. But wait there's more, and this is where things get a little hard to reconcile. Richard Klein, unfortunately, died in 1963 but Healthways did not, According toa Alec Pierce. On one of these YouTube videos, Healthways continued to make regulators for scuba pro. I tried to find out more about the bankruptcy, and it took me to a document from the Small Business Investment Company program from August 1963. And there is an entry that shows health ways of having sales of $2.9 million with 96 employees and a profit of $21,800. It looks like they got some investment money, and, the statement said they were on their road to profitability and operating in the black Somewhere. Along the way, Healthways was acquired by Elden Industries in Los Angeles. From what I gather, Eldin was a May have been a toy company, and it's really hard to find out information about them. In any event, the last thing I could trace was in 1971 scuba catalog from Healthways that showed it as being a subsidiary of Elden. I also read along the way that they sold scuba equipment to Sears and Kmart in the 19 seventies. I wasn't able to actually nail down when Healthways ended. So my journey to find out more about one of these original five US scuba manufacturers provided some fascinating twists and turns. And like all journeys, I passed a few interesting side roads. So I went down and others yet to be explored. Hope you enjoyed this. Look at Healthways.
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