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Pride or Brag Jackets

Discussion in 'History of Scuba Diving: Tales from the Abyss' started by Neptune Warrior, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Neptune Warrior

    Neptune Warrior Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Idaho
    I seem to remember divers wearing jackets with patches of their certification and travels...some even had a dive club on them ....but seems it's a tradition long gone. An internet search has turned up no results for me. Wondering if anyone here remembers them or could post pics of the old ego jackets.
  2. WeRtheOcean

    WeRtheOcean Nassau Grouper

    It sounds like a tradition not unique to diving. I remember as a kid, some of my Scoutmasters would wear a red vest with patches of Scouting-related trips they had done. And of course there are the globetrotting backpackers whose backpacks have flag patches of countries they have visited. It seems odd that such a tradition would die out... but then, nowadays I see stickers on car windows with three-letter codes for their road trip destinations, so maybe it hasn't so much died out as changed form.
    Neptune Warrior likes this.
  3. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    I still buy patches from destinations. Some day I'd like to come up with a good use for them....

    I still have my 1970's-80's ski equipment bag with patches of mountains skied.

    Here in NY, 46 patches (the Adirondack High Peaks) really means quite an accomplishment...

    Not so sure of the certification badges....
    Neptune Warrior and txgoose like this.
  4. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

  5. txgoose

    txgoose Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Houston
    You can still buy various diving chevrons that could go on a jacket. I love patches and would enjoy them being more prolific, that said, I would not likely wear them to a dive site. I'd like to cover a wall or a huge bulletin board in a man cave/family room.

    I suspect that this could quickly turn into a variation of the "1000 posts and not red" thread.
  6. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    I think times have merely changed. Patches and badges used to mean something...kind of like a mans word. As time went on, people started wearing things that advertised they were something that they are not(much like Stolen Valor). When that became epidemic the “patches and badges” lost their allure for a lot of folks. I can buy a cap and gown on Craigslist, but it doesn’t make me a graduate from MIT.
  7. hilljo88

    hilljo88 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
    I was on a dive boat last year and one couple had something like what you are describing.I don’t remember the details, but I think the wife had made the design herself for each dive trip they had taken. It was much admired by the folks on the boat.
    Neptune Warrior, RyanT and txgoose like this.
  8. txgoose

    txgoose Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Houston
    That rocks!! Advertising stories should be universally embraced. "Pardon me folks, but you gotta tell me the story about your trip to............."
    Neptune Warrior and RyanT like this.
  9. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    I suspect the patches on a jacket date back to WW11 and Korean war. Most organizations, such as the USAF & the USN & USMC airedales sported a unique patch some where on their flight jackets: on the shoulder or on the left or right breast area.

    After WW11 and between the wars recreational diving was emerging and concentrated in SoCal Many ex service men joined forces with other individuals with like interest to create clubs for companionship and exchange of ideas. Thus was born the "club era" of diving

    It was appropriate to create a distinct symbol for their organizations thus we have the club patches beginning to appear

    The clubs along with a uniquely distinctly patch -- always worn in a specific location, also had unique names; some incorporating their location, others their activity with in the infant diving world, :

    In 1956 or so Chuck Blakeslee founder of Skin Diver Magazine (SDM) requested all clubs in the US and the infant diving world to send their club patch to SDM HQ. The response was overwhelming ! It was probably Jere, Chucks wife, who began laboriously sewing them on to huge blanket which was hung on the wall of SDMs Lynwood, California Office , which was immediately converted into an eye catching wall hanging and a conversational item.

    The May 1958 edition of SDM cover was a picture of the dive clubs patches that had been sewn on a blanket . Inside was a listing of all known or recognized clubs in the US. As expected the majority were from the west coast with a smattering in the population centers of the US

    The cover was again duplicated five years later in the January 1963 issue. Inside was an enlarged world wide directory of dive clubs and infant local diving councils....Diving was beginning to emerge but ever so slowly

    It was about 20 perhaps more years ago that Dale Scheckler, editor of California Diving News (CDN) wrote an editorial -- "Where are all the mem with club patches ?" (or words to that effect.). A good question ! Where had the gone? The club concept along with the men with club patches had silently disappeared into the dust of diving history.

    So now you know

    Samuel Miller, 111

    clubs & patches
    Southern California Skin divers
    Sea Sabres
    Long Beach Neptunes

    patch & special Jacket
    LA Co UW instructor

    @Neptune Warrior
    @rhwestfall -- Skiing ?

    @WeRtheOcean (we began as snorkelers … a long time ago)
  10. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Interesting observation Sam. I guess it is fair to say every group from the Boy Scouts to the Hell's Angels had "uniforms". Or maybe it was because women loved men in uniforms. :)

    This makes me wonder when automated embroidery machinery became available, which would make these patches reasonably priced. Tracing the appearance of complex "stitching" beyond a few stripes and chevrons on military uniforms would probably be a good indication. Embroidering something like this by hand would be too expensive to expect a Non-Com to pay for:


    Edit: This helps explain it: Embroidery Technology Then and Now

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