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History of PDIC

Discussion in 'Vintage Diving & Equipment' started by Trace Malinowski, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY

    Some of you may have seen my post in the "Passings" forum regarding the death of Doris Murphy, the president of PDIC, prior to the agency's sale to Tom Leaird of YMCA and SEI.

    I'm looking for information on PDIC's beginnings in California as the Professional Diving Instructor's College and the history of the agency up to 1980, but mostly through the 1960's and into the 70's with the agency being taken over by the Murphy family.

    Does anyone know the players from NASDS who started the college, exactly how PDIC broke away from NASDS, and any information about how the Murphy family purchased it and any background on Frank and Doris from their early days?

    I want to draft a few things about Doris' legacy for the industry and the WDHoF, but wanted to incorporate the agency's history in as much detail as I could uncover. Even though I worked at the HQ for many years, conversations about the early history were infrequent. I thought I'd ask here since vintage divers are often the most fond of the history of our sport and not just fond of gear. Thanks.
    mdb likes this.
  2. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
    Hey Trace, I've did a little research for you, but haven't come up with a whole lot.

    In a nutshell here you go.

    PDIC was formed in 1969 as the Professional Diving Instructors College, by Ed & Ruth Brawley in Monterey California. This was the first Scuba Instructor's college in the United States. Frank and Doris Murphy Purchased PDIC from the Brawley's in the early 1980's and changed its name to the Professional Diving Instructors Corporation and at the time, relocated PDIC to from California to Scranton, Pennsylvania. Their son Keith Mel Murphy took over the company in the late 1990's and continued to operate the world wide agency. In 2011, Mel Murphy sold PDIC to Tom Leaird and now PDIC shares staff and operates out of a joint office located in Munice, Indiana with Scuba Educators International, the Successor to Yscuba.

    Now I know this doesn't help, but this is straight from the PDIC (About PDIC section) Course Standards and Procedure Guide.

    My suggestion would be to contact Tom Leaird directly and see what info he would have on it. I spoke with Tom back at DEMA of 2013, about the future of PDIC but not the past. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
    mdb likes this.
  3. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    Bryan, that helps a little because I'm trying to nail down some dates. Years ago, I wrote in rec.scuba:

    "The history of sport agencies as I understand it, developed something like
    In the 1950s, after the development of the aqualung in the late 40s and as the world regrouped from WW II... an interest in sport diving began to grow. At one time, a diver just needed to purchase an Aqualung which I guess included an instructional booklet. Most formal instruction was not organized and because of the attitude about the "macho" aspect of diving much emphasis was placed upon physical prowess and most instructors were ex-military divers, commercial divers, lifeguards, and accomplished freedivers and spearfishers. There were also few female partcipants at first.
    The first organized scuba courses in the United States began in 1954 and
    were conducted by Al Tillman for Los Angeles County. L.A. County developed the first underwater instructor's certification course called U.I.C.C. but it
    existed only in Los Angeles County.

    Since there was a need for a national certification program, the Council
    for National Cooperation in Aquatics (CNCA) developed a course foundation for the YMCA to train divers. Much of the emphasis was on physical fitness.

    While the YMCA program was being implemented, Al Tillman was creating
    another national program which became NAUI. Tillman & an instructor named Neil Hess recruited instructors through "Skin Diver" magazine. Instructors sent in outlines of courses for review & if approved, they then were made members of the National Diving Patrol. In 1960, the NDP created its first national instructor course and the name was changed to the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI).

    In 1962, John Gaffney started the National Association of Skin Diving
    Schools (NASDS) based on the idea that professional dive facilities offering
    instruction, sales and service would help the sport to grow and this way would
    offer more quality control. He created an instructor training facility to
    create quality instructors called the Professional Diving Instructors College
    which later seperated and became the Professional Diving Instructors
    Corporation (PDIC) in 1975.

    In the late 1960s, thanks to television and films, more people wanted to
    learn to dive. Prior to this, the swimming skills and freediving skills of most
    new divers was such that open water training was not thought to be required and most instruction was done in the class & pool. Open water dives, if done at all, were usually just teams of divers going into the water practicing their
    skills and coming out to receive their C-cards. In 1967 the Professional
    Association of Diving Instructors was formed with the emphasis on making diving more available to the public and train them in a less military manner.

    Bob Clark & Ed Brawley devised precise instructional techniques while at
    the Professional Diving Instructors College & NASDS became the first agency to require open water training.

    Because of the Vietnam War, many divers and instructors found themselves
    stationed overseas in the military. Nick Icorn, who was the training director
    for PADI, took this opportunity to start expanding internationally and the
    first PADI instructor training course was given at Clark Air Force Base in the
    Phillipines in 1970 by PADI Master Instructors Roy Goodman and Hap Chapman.

    Equipment innovations up to this point were the single hose regulator
    (1959) and the development of the BC by NASDS dealers. Scuba-Pro made the first BC with a power inflator (forget the year). NASDS was the first agency to introduce the equipment console and the "octopus" regulator.

    In other countries training developed based upon the "dive club" structure
    such as BSAC (UK), CMAS (France) & FAUI (Australia).

    If I find anymore info I will gladly pass it along. I'm sure others will
    be able to make a much larger contribution and maybe even correct some of my info, but I hope this helps at least with some names that contributed to the development of the sport in the United States as instructors."

    To which Al Tillman, himself, replied:

    "I would say that Tracy David Malinowski did a pretty darn good job
    recounting the history of the organizations. I would like to add that
    Bev Morgan deserves equal credit for the LA County program and John C.
    Jones played a major role in NAUI by the time the first ICC was held.
    These are by far not the only names associated with the creation of
    these two agencies, but these are ones that can't be left out.

    Also, The YMCA actually held the first "National" instructor training
    course in 1959 - not quite a year before NAUI's first ICC in Houston,
    TX. NAUI holds the distinction of holding the first "International"
    course with candidates from other countries in 1960.

    It should also be recognized when mentioning names that PADI's founders
    were Ralph Erickson (who went through the first NAUI ICC) and John
    Cronin. These men have made their mark and should be recognized.

    Hope this helps in your research,
    Al Tillman"

    Al is no longer with us otherwise I probably just would have asked him. If anyone can build around this info that would be great!
    JamesBon92007 likes this.
  4. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
    Trace, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is, no matter how much I think I know, I still learn something new every day. After 20 years in the Industry, I learnt more about the history of how diving got started by reading your last post than I have by being in the Industry. I will contact Tom for you and see if he has any further info.
  5. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    Bryan, that would be most excellent! Thanks!
  6. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
    Hey Trace, I have spoke with Tom, and he stated that he would contact you directly and see if he can help you out.
    Trace Malinowski likes this.
  7. Luis H

    Luis H Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Maine
    Hi Trace, have you been in touch with Sam Miller?
    I sent him an email.
  8. TerryWoods

    TerryWoods New

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    I attended PDIC In the fall of 1974. We lived above the dive shop on Hoffman St. In Monterey, CA. We walked down to McCabe beach on Cannery Row. Ed had several dive shops in the Bay area and we were the free labor that did the ocean classes for the students from the 5 shops.

  9. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    I simply love these kinds of threads. @TraceMalin ... dude, if you don't addend this thread with what you suss out, I'll have to retaliate! :D :D :D
  10. TerryWoods

    TerryWoods New

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Could you say that again, but in English this time.

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