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Roller Polespear from 1939

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by Popgun Pete, May 8, 2019.

  1. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    215
    184
    43
    Given that spearfishing with mechanical underwater weapons commences in 1937 with the advent of the spring gun, prior to which there were rubber propelled hand spears or polespears, this rollerspear from 1939 demonstrates the rapid advances in spearfishing on the eve of World War II. Commandant Yves Le Prieur, Navy man, pioneer diver and spearfisherman devised this roller spear to add to his long list of underwater inventions which work. Like Jacques Cousteau, Yves Le Prieur is one of the greats in the pantheon of underwater heroes who helped set the foundations of the sport and it is somewhat ironic that not being a self-publicist he is not well known to many today.

    Here is his rollerspear invention which is so early that it uses square cross-section “motor elastics” as at that time there were no dedicated speargun rubber bands.


    Le Prieur rollerspear close-up.jpg
    Le Prieur roller spear in action.jpg
    Note that the spearfisherman releases the hand hook and keeps connected to the rollerspear by a tethering line connected to the hand hook which can just be seen at the rear end of the projectile. While swimming with the weapon cocked the small hook under the hand hook or grip can be temporarily snagged on the shoulder of the pole spear. 1939 vintage makes this a very early spearfishing weapon given that the first ever speargun patent is in 1937.
     
  2. Popgun Pete

    Popgun Pete Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    215
    184
    43
    It should be noted that this weapon follows on from his impressive 1938 band gun using 8 loop style bands, probably one of the first band guns, and maybe even the first.
    Le Prieur's band gun with shoulder stock.jpg
    Le Prieur gun cocked to shoot plan view.jpg
    LE PRIEUR BAND GUN 5.jpg
     
    Vicko and CuzzA like this.

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