In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, scuba diving gear was available to consumers through a number of small companies, one of those being Healthways.
Healthways was a firm founded by Dick Klein which made scuba gear, which ultimately went bankrupt in 1963, due in part to Dick Kiein’s failing health. It was one of the five original USA diving gear makers, the others being U.S. Divers, Voit, Dacor, Swimaster. Notably, Dick Klein saw early on the value of the term “scuba” and placed a copyright on the term, and soon all Healthways products had the term “SCUBA” somewhere in their product name.
At bankruptcy, two Californians, Dick Bonin and Gus de la Valle, purchased the assets of Healthways and the name of Healthway’s professional line for $1.00 and “due consideration.” That professional line was, and still is, known as “Scuba Pro.”
Healthways is also notable in that it was the first manufacturer to use “scuba” as a word rather than an acronym; in fact, their twin-hose regulator line was called the “Scuba”; hence, one of their later models, the Scuba Pro, eventually became the name of reorganized company. Healthways’ single-hose regulators were dubbed the “Scubair” line.)
Below are some of the original Healthways ads which ran in publications of interest to scuba divers. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger version and enjoy!