It was founded by:-
- Max Gene Nohl, a diver who lived in Milwaukee. In the early 1930s he had national publicity for his salvage operations on a sunken steamship, the "John Dwight".
- Col. John D. Craig, a Hollywood movie producer, a pioneer in underwater photography, who wanted to film the possible salvage of the RMS Lusitania.
- Jack Browne, a diver.
- Edgar End, M.D., a pioneer in hyperbaric medicine.
On 1 December 1937 in Lake Michigan, Max Nohl dived to 420 feet with DESCO equipment, breaking the previous record of 344 feet set by British divers in 1930.
In World War II DESCO made hardhat diving gear and oxygen rebreathers for the US Navy. DESCO continues in business in Milwaukee, WI. They produce 14 models of diving helmets, and related diving gear, and are representatives for Hunter Drysuits, Composite Beat Engel DeepSea helmets, and Broco Welding.
The DESCO "air hat", introduced in 1968, is still manufactured and is popular among air divers and particularly those working in contaminated environments; its free-flow, positive-pressure design affords an extra safety margin when contaminants are present. When compared with demand helmets, the air hat is simple and inexpensive to operate and maintain.
- http://www.descocorp.com (information site)
- http://www.therebreathersite.nl/03_Historical/Desco_B_Lung.htm (about rebreathers which they made or make)