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The compleat goggler

Discussion in 'Apps, Book and Media Reviews' started by Sam Miller III, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    4,316
    2,697
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    "The Compleat Goggler

    Being the First and Only Exhaustive Treatise on the Art of Goggle Fishing. That Noble and Excellent Sport Perfected and Popularized by Guy Gilpatric in the Mediterranean Sea - Though Long Practiced Elsewhere by Other Benighted Savages;

    Setting Forth the Proper manner of Making the Goggles, Spears and Other Needful Gadgets Together with Descriptions of Many Marvels Witnessed Upon the Bottom of the Sea And Fully Exposing the Author's Cunning Methods of Swimming, Diving & Spearing Fish and Octopi."

    By Guy Gilpatric

    1938 Dodd Mead & Company, New York City, NY

    Hard cover with a dust jacket

    182 pages; excess of 30 illustrations approximately 25 pictures, several taken underwater

    The very first modern printed document chronicling the genesis of "goggle fishing" or as know today "spear fishing."

    It it a collection of short goggling /spearfishing stories written by Mr. Gilpatric for the
    Saturday Evening Post during the years 1934, 1935, 1937 & 1938.

    There are very few of the original books on the open market, and there apparently is no clear estimate of the number remaining.

    Few modern divers, including my self, would not have had the opportunity to own or read the Compleat Goggler if it had not been for the insight and courage of the founder of Skin Diver Magazine. Mr. Charles "Chuck" Blakeslee. He entered into a relationship with the original publisher, Dodd Mead and company who were still in business in 1956 to use the original plates to reprint 1200 copies of the book under the SDM banner in 1957 with an added forward by Mr. James Dugan, a very popular writer of that era and the US public relations agent for Cousteau; who at that time was almost unknown in the US or by the world.

    The Skin Diver magazine reprint was listed a $5.00 dollars a copy but only a few books were sold, so the remaining books were converted into a marketing inducement. Purchase a subscription to Skin Diver Magazine a receive a copy of the book. Even then very few were sold.

    In late 1960s the original owners , Chuck Blakeslee and Jim Auxier sold Skin Diver Magazine to the giant speciality magazine company Petersen Publishing in Hollywood. All the remaining editions of the SDM Compleat Goggler which were stored in boxes in the hall way of the firm's Lynwood office were "disposed with extreme prejudice " in the Long Beach California dump by the new owners of Skin Diver Magazine.

    Epilogue:
    Guy Gilpatric purchased a home on a hill over looking Santa Barbara California where he and his beloved wife spent their remaining days together. They passed away in June 1950

    The Saturday Evening Post ceased publication in 1969

    Chuck Blakeslee is alive and well and lives in a small northern California community with his wife Jere.

    Jim Auxier passed away about 15 years ago at his daughter's home in Georgia

    The current market value of decent used original copy of the Compleat Goggler is in excess of $1000.00
    The current market value of a SDM reprint of the Compleat Goggler is in excess of $300.00.

    The great pioneer spear fisherman/author/ world explorer Dr Professor Hans Hass who was a young man on a vacation in France when he was introduced to goggle fishing by Mr. Gilpatric. He is the only person remaining alive who knew Mr. Gilpatric and was mentioned in the book.

    I have had the opportunity to have meet Dr Hass & his lovely wife Lotte on numerous occasions beginning in 1959 and have The Compleat Goggler inscribed by him on the pages he was mentioned. They are both alive and well and living in Liechtenstein
     
  2. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    4,981
    2,321
    113
    A most excellent review Sam; I'll keep my eyes open.

    Having read Under the Red Sea by H.H. I am looking for a copy of Dive to Adventure. On my last book hunting foray I did not find it but did pick up:

    More Years Under the Earth By Norbert Casteret 1962. A description of the exploration of the Cigale're cave system in the Pyrenees.
    Man Under Water by Henry Billings 1954. A description of mans excursions UW since ancient times.
    Another HC of JYC's The Silent World 1954 the Reprint Society of London.
     
  3. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    4,316
    2,697
    113
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dale,
    Your collection is rapidly growing into a library! And good for you!
    You are evidently in an untapped area to have located as many books in one forage. Where I live and throughout California dive books have all but disappeared from the shelves. Keep up that foraging!

    You are also in a transitional zone and evidently can acquire American, British and Canadian books

    There is one great Canadian book you might want to search for..Frogmen of Burma about WW11 Frogmen--One of my old diving buddies Frank Rodecker (Aka Frankie the frogman) was a component of the Canadian training and featured in the book. It took me many years to locate it in the US and I paid dearly for it, now rather common and certainly much more reasonably priced than what I was forced to Pay.
    Also be on the look out for books by the great Canadian ice diver Dr. Joe McInnes who has three( maybe more) books about diving under the ice for science in Canada

    Good Luck!
     
  4. JohnPeters

    JohnPeters Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Miami
    6
    0
    0
  5. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    4,981
    2,321
    113
    Sam, funny you should mention these subjects. Just this week I picked up two dive related books. They are:

    Not "Frogmen of Burma" but close; it's "Underwater Warriors" by Paul Kemp detailing military one and two man submarines and their crews.

    [​IMG]

    and "Underwater Man" by the good doctor Joe MacInnis himself.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    4,981
    2,321
    113
    Progress report:

    [​IMG]

    Just picked up these two HC books and in the left one (Underwater Treasury) there is a truncated version of "The Complete Goggler". This may be an easier way to read some of Gilpatrics book rather than trying to find the original (though that would be nice too).

    I also picked up a PB copy of "Frogmen First Battles" by Schofield and Carisella which chronicles the advent of the Italian Tenth Light Flotilla, the first pioneer divers of WWII.
     

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