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Russian and Ukrainian snorkels

Discussion in 'History of Diving Gear' started by David Wilson, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Thank you for your encouragement, Tridacna, and I'm most grateful, dmaziuk, for your detailed explanation of the relative significance of GOST and TU. I understood that GOST was the equivalent of western standards such as BS, ISO and EN but I wasn't aware that each article of underwater equipment would have had its own TU specifications, which some people might see as "using a sledgehammer to crack a nut", while others would welcome such technical detail because of the insights it affords into the process of product development in the Soviet Union. I do want to get to grips with the contents of the TU 89-023-79 technical conditions for one of the snorkel models at some stage and I've kept a copy of your helpful information, dmaziuk, to guide me when I do so.

    On to the Soviet snorkel that came in the same "Respirator factory" cardboard box as the green-skirted "Glubinka" diving mask discussed in message #11 in this thread.

    Soviet L-shaped Breathing Tube #1
    6397-thickbox_default-png.419800.png
    5016938100_3.jpg
    The two images clearly show that this breathing tube comes with a straight aluminium barrel with a 90-degree single-bend curve at the "demand end" giving the snorkel its characteristic "L" shape. A figure-of-eight dark green rubber loop serves as a "keeper" when attaching the snorkel to the mask strap. A stiff grey rubber 90-degree offset "lateral" mouthpiece attached to the demand end of the barrel completes the snorkel. As the mouthpiece is a very tight fit on the barrel, it cannot be rotated or removed without difficulty, unlike the softer mouthpiece of the modern YaRTI L-shaped snorkel below described in message #1:
    06048-b-jpg.419796.jpg

    Soviet L-shaped snorkel #1 came in other colours materials:
    348238706_1_1000x700_lasty-odessa.jpg
    A blue plastic barrel with red mouthpiece version is pictured above with a pair of adjustable open-heel Ukrainian-made "Turist" fins.

    Now for the matter of this snorkel's provenance, more specifically the identity of the plant where it was manufactured. The cardboard box the snorkel came in provided a possible clue:
    s-l1600-5.png
    Inside there were two spare grey L-shaped snorkel mouthpieces (one pictured above) designed to fit the "modern" L-shaped snorkel, not the Soviet one. On one side of both spare mouthpieces I found the abbreviation "ЯРТИ", short for "Ярославль – Резинотехника", the Yaroslavl Plant for Rubber Technical Products where the modern L-shaped snorkel was made. Perhaps the Soviet version was made there too?

    Next up will be another Soviet J-shaped snorkel, whose provenance can be established.
     
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  2. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

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    Yeah well. There was no unemployment in the bad old USSR, everybody was busy swinging sledgehammers.

    I believe everything manufactured had to have a TU, even if there was no GOST for it, like the snorkels. No idea who and why decided what was worth having a State Standard for and what wasn't. But it kept a lot of people busy developing standards.
     
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  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    On to another Soviet snorkel, this time a J-shaped model manufactured in the No 4 Rubber Products Factory in Moscow, known as "Mosrezina".

    Soviet J-shaped Breathing Tube #2
    il_fullxfull.1115865546_2u32.jpg
    il_fullxfull.1115865548_t5is.jpg
    il_fullxfull.1115865554_i6t7.jpg il_fullxfull.1115865560_esjz.jpg il_fullxfull.1162472803_9fpm.jpg The third image has a close-up of the mouthpiece with the manufacturing details on the neck, including the place of manufacture (Moscow), the stock number (MG-4973?), the price (1 rouble 5 kopecks) and the year of manufacture (1970).

    There is an article in Russian at ОБЪЯВЛЕНИ * ПОДВОДНЫЕ ГЕОЛОГИ * КАМНИ В ПОДВОДНОМ СПОРТЕ - Техника - молодёжи 1960-08, страница 26 and ПРЯЖКА КОРПУС * С. П. КАПИЦА. * О. Т. ЖУКОВА, * ПИСТОЛЕТ ДЛЯ ПОДВОДНОЙ ОХОТЫ - Техника - молодёжи 1960-08, страница 27 from the August 1960 issue of a journal entitled "Техника - молодёжи" (Technology - Youth)
    page0026.jpg
    page0027.jpg
    The snorkel may be the one pictured above as a Mosrezina product:
    Mosrezina.png
    The caption of the illustration reads: "Хорошие ласты завода «Мосрезина», плохие маска и трубка", translating roughly to "Good fins made by the ‘Mosrezina’ factory and a poor mask and snorkel". This is what the article says about Soviet breathing tubes:
    Russian: ДЫХАТЕЛЬНЫЕ ТРУБКИ выпускаются одного типа, но с разными загубниками. Они малы по диаметру (внутренний диаметр 18 мм) и делаются из цветного металла, когда можно с успехом использовать для этой цели резину или пластмассу. Загубники плохо удерживаются во рту, растирают десны.
    English: BREATHING TUBES conform to a single type, but mouthpieces do vary. They have a small diameter (inner diameter 18 mm) and are made of a non-ferrous metal, when rubber or plastic can successfully serve this purpose. The mouthpieces are hard to retain in the mouth and they rub against the gums.

    So the snorkel's reception was not uncritical in terms of its comfort and what it was made of. The journal article confirms too that this model was around in 1960.

    A distinctive feature of this J-shaped snorkel is the extra forward curve in the barrel to ease the positioning of the mouthpiece in the mouth:
    j-shaped_2-png.420350.png
    The above from the most comprehensive work on Soviet underwater equipment published in 1969. The feature can also be seen in an illustration from a Soviet manual that has now been placed online at Массарский А.С. Объектив под водой:
    002.jpg
    Such characteristics became more pronounced later when contoured snorkels came on to the market in western countries.

    In my next posting, I will introduce another Soviet L-shaped breathing tube.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  4. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Did it come with a doily?
     
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  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    No! :) That's just the auction site picture and I didn't end up buying the item.

    Like you, though, I've noticed how gear pictures on Russian and Ukrainian online auction sites such as Avito and Olx inadvertently show Eastern European people's room furnishings such as carpets and wallpaper with their preference for strong, elaborate, old-fashioned patterns at variance with what appears to be the norm in western countries, namely something plain and understated. Over the years, I've come to appreciate such cultural differences and particularly some people's practice of "if it ain't broke, why fix it?"
     
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  6. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Ok. I just thought that it may be a Geordie thing :cheers:
     
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  7. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

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    There is now a Russian word евроремонт: eurorenovation. It's when they strip off the wallpaper, exterminate all the bedbugs hiding under it, throw out the rugs that are 80% dust, and bring in IKEA-knockoff furniture.

    PS. "Техника - молодёжи" is "technology to the youth" or "technology for the youth". With a bit of an imperative tone to it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
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  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    You'd probably find a few doilies still around wherever cream teas are served in rural Northumbria. Here on Tyneside we're probably more associated with stotties (here's the "biggest stottie in the world"):
    [​IMG]

    Newcastle Brown Ale (although it's not brewed in Newcastle upon Tyne any more):
    [​IMG]
    The Tyne Bridge:
    [​IMG]

    and the Angel of the North:
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Times change, and not always for the better! The word "ремонт" reminds me of my one visit to Russia, during the 1970s. Among the store signs in Moscow, that seemed the most frequent. At the time I admired the way Moscovites chose to repair things that we in the wasteful west tended to throw away and replace.

    Thanks for the correction. I've just looked up "молодёжи" in Wiktionary and I see it is the dative singular of "молодёжь", hence the meaning of "to" or "for" "the youth". I should have looked the word up before I posted the original message.
     
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Time for a look at the L-shaped "Amfibiya" (Russian: Амфибия; English: Amphibian) snorkel, which was made with a plastic barrel in the former "Red Triangle" rubber factory in the city of Leningrad, later renamed St Petersburg.

    Soviet L-shaped Breathing Tube #2
    91916670_flip-png.419802.png
    1416079026-jpg.419803.jpg
    3465818450.jpg

    The breathing tube bears a close resemblance to the modern-day YaRTI snorkel, which is or was manufactured in Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow. This makes it harder to distinguish between "Amfibiya" and "YaRTI" snorkels unless the embossed word "Amfibiya" is visible.

    Anyway, I'll take a chance on the mouthpiece pictures below, which have dates embossed on them :
    2631642212.jpg
    3323458577.jpg
    You can see "1975" on the first image above and "1981" on the second. Both include the price, which was 1 rouble and 5 kopecks.

    Finally, here is a nice colourful auction picture of a set of Soviet basic gear:
    1601039335.jpg The L-shaped snorkel with the green barrel and the offset mouthpiece may be an "Amfibiya". If it isn't, then it's a "YaRTI". The blue mask is a Mosrezina "Buratino" replica of the Italian-made Cressi "Pinocchio" mask. The green closed-heel and closed-toe fins are Mosrezina Model No. 6 "Rusalka" (Mermaid), patterned on the East German "Najade" fin that has remained in production in Hungary to this day.

    Right, that's enough for today. Next time I'll be tying up the loose ends by throwing in a mixed-bag of snorkels that may not even be Russian or Ukrainian at all but were owned by people in those countries during the Soviet era. Thanks to all for reading this thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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