Robert Davis (inventor)

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Sir Robert Henry Davis (1870 – 1965) was an English inventor and director of the Siebe Gorman company.[1] His main invention was the Davis Submerged Escape Apparatus, an oxygen rebreather that Davis patented for the first time in 1910,[2] inspired by the rebreathers that Henry Fleuss patented as of 1876. Davis breathing set was destined to allow British submarine crews to escape when their ship started to sink.

While still directing Siebe Gorman Davis was the first British to buy a licence from the Cousteau-Gagnan Aqua-Lung[3] (from the French company La Spirotechnique), starting commercialization of scuba sets in Britain as of 1948. Siebe Gorman aqualungs ended being known under the name of tadpole sets.[4]

Davis Road in Chessington (where Siebe Gorman's factory was for a while) was named after him.


He wrote the books:

  • Breathing in Irrespirable Atmospheres, first published in the 1930s at St. Catherine's Press in London. It has 376 pages, c.250 photographs, and diagrams.
  • Davis, RH (1955). Deep Diving and Submarine Operations (6th ed.). Tolworth, Surbiton, Surrey: Siebe Gorman & Company Ltd. p. 693. 


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