Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

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Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:13 am

Gene Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

1965 No ISBN or LCCC number-First Avon printing August 1965
1971 LCCC number 71-146843, Second Avon printing March 1971 - this edition sponsored by Nemrod-Seamless

Paper back, 382 pages, profusely illustrated with Gene Parker's excellent illustrations and line drawings.

Possibly one of the most underrated over looked dive books ever printed.

Each edition is divided into two parts: part one basic diving , Part two advanced techniques.

Since it is paper back it was never taken too seriously and has become increasingly difficult to locate in any condition.

For the vintage diver it is a treasure trove of drawings, techniques pre 1970s
SDM

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Britmarine
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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:31 pm

Thanks for the bibliographic information, Sam.
Image
Above an image of the front cover of Parker's book.

On my own diving book shelves I have a copy of Gene Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving, Third Printing, November 1974, Avon Books. I too was intrigued by the quality of Parker's own line drawings, which gave a clarity that is sometimes absent in photographic plates of the period. I agree, a very underrated work. I also like his attempts at defining "skindiver", "snorkeldiver", "scubadiver" and "hart hat diver" at a time when "skindiving" meant both "snorkel diving" and "scuba diving", despite the way breath-hold divers may use these terms nowadays. The blurb on the back of the book says he was the co-inventor of a heated diving suit that had reached the manufacturing stage.

Parker wrote an article on fins for beginners which appeared in the January 1971 issue of Skin Diver (pages 10-11, 28-30). It was again illustrated with Parker's own line-drawings (with his signature!) and it's written in a very readable style, in keeping with its audience, without appearing to be condescending. A very workmanlike piece with excellent advice when it came to gear selection.

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sitkadiver
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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:30 pm

Thank You for the information. Only $ 1.96 on Alibris.com.

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?brows ... x=0&hs.y=0
I do not believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk is not worth living. - Charles Lindbergh

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Herman
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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:58 am

Allright, who is the sorry single hose diver that got it before me?? :)
Had to settle for the $3 one.
Herman

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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:10 am

I would strongly suggest that you order both editions:
[b]1965 No ISBN or LCCC number-First Avon printing August 1965
1971 LCCC number 71-146843, Second Avon printing March 1971 [/b]- this edition sponsored by Nemrod-Seamless.

All self respecting vintage divers would want both copies.

SDM

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Britmarine
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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:49 am

21 wrote:I would strongly suggest that you order both editions:
1965 No ISBN or LCCC number-First Avon printing August 1965
1971 LCCC number 71-146843, Second Avon printing March 1971
- this edition sponsored by Nemrod-Seamless.

All self respecting vintage divers would want both copies.

SDM


What are the main differences in content between the two editions, Sam? Is the second a major rewrite of the text, or just an attempt to substitute pictures of gear from 1965 with pictures of gear from 1971? What was the impact of the Nemrod-Seamless sponsorship? I notice from my 1974 printing that there are two pages of fin pictures, the first (page 30) with no Nemrod-Seamless products, presumably from the first printing, and the second (page 51) featuring the "Seamless Competition" fin and the "Seamless Venturi" fin with three other manufacturers' fins.

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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:52 am

The main difference is an up date and Nemrod-Seamless products, If I had to chose I would always go with the latest edition of any book.

As an diving bibliophile I attempt to obtain every edition of a book.

The phrase "All self respecting vintage divers would want both copies." was a paraphrase I used in a presentation I gave some years ago on diving bibliophilia.

By the way since you are a Brit what ever happened to Reg Valentine in the UK? He was a British bibliophile of note in years passed.

SDM

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Britmarine
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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:23 pm

21 wrote:By the way since you are a Brit what ever happened to Reg Valentine in the UK? He was a British bibliophile of note in years passed. SDM


I posted the following information on a different forum in response to your original query four years ago about Reg Vallintine (note spelling):

I'm afraid I can't help with Reg Vallintine. There are some indications on the Web that he was active in the early years of the current decade but nothing since then. You could try posting a message on the BSAC Forum at

http://www.bsacforum.co.uk/forums/

considering his long association with the British Sub Aqua Club. However, my impression of the membership of the forum is that there are very few "old-timers" left who would be able to supply useful information.

Postscript. I checked my bookshelf and found "Divers and Diving" by Reg VALLINTINE. Realising that my previous misspelling of Reg's surname while Googling may have affected the search results, I tried again and found:

Reg Vallintine, Vice Chairman

Reg Vallintine has been involved in the underwater world since his first aqualung dive in 1954 and has a special interest in the development of autonomous equipment. He organises the Annual Conference, Half-day conferences, visits and book meetings for the Society. Has spoken on the history of diving at numerous conferences and his books include Divers and Diving (a history). Contact at 13 Glendower Road, London SW14 8NY.
tel: +44 (0)20 8876 0735 fax:+44 (0)20 8878 4131


I have no further information about him.

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Re: Parker's Complete Handbook of Skin Diving

Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:11 pm

Reg organized and hoisted the very first diving bibliophile meeting in the UK about 20 years ago.

I organized the first US diving bibliophile meeting a few weeks later in my Cen-Cal home.

Mine was a two day event with over 20 attendees

Reg's was first but mine had more attendees and was a two day affair complete with a catered meal, rather than an evening event with tea and crumpets.--I have never forgiven him for beating me to the punch, but time heals all wounds...(ha!)

FYI --Reg certified Vane Ivanovic, the author of the 1950s book [u]Modern spear fishing[/u], which was published in UK and US with about a half dozen revisions. Seems Vane had wanted to have his tanks (cylinders) filled and a fuzzy faced PADI type refused him unless he was certified. It is reported Reg hasty certified Vane. I have often wondered if Vane got his hair wet during the certification process??

Thanks for your many efforts

SDM

SDM

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