The History of Diving Museum on Islamorada traces the history of underwater exploration back thousands of years. Browse the 13 interactive galleries to see diving paraphernalia and relics recovered from the ocean floor and visit the museum’s aquarium to see tropical fish.
As you vacation in the Florida Keys, which is surrounded by some of the world’s best dive sites, you’re likely to grow curious about the origins of this increasingly popular sport. A visit to the History of Diving Museum is sure to answer all your questions about scuba diving. Drs. Joseph and Sally Bauer, the founders of the History of Diving Museum, both trained as marine biologists and became diving historians. Joseph Bauer’s legacy became a major theme of the museum when he passed away in 2007.
Follow the developments in diving since the 19th century by watching the introductory documentary. Learn about the technological advances that have allowed explorers to discover new species and document underwater environments and about the role divers have played in the military before you explore the artifacts in the museum.
Admire diving helmets from 24 different countries in the Parade of Nations gallery and see historic oil lamps that once lit the way for deep-sea divers. Be inspired by Matt Johnston, the first ventilator-dependent quadriplegic to scuba dive, an event that took place in the Florida Keys.
Find a replica of a 1691 diving bell and a collection of single-atmosphere suits. The Iron Mike and Iron Duke were two landmark developments in diving technology. Peer through a helmet to see the local marine life in the aquarium. Your journey through the museum finishes with an exhibit on modern diving technology and the history of scuba.
The History of Diving Museum is located at mile marker 83 on U.S. Route 1 and is best reached by car or on foot from other parts of Islamorada. There is free parking outside the museum. An admission fee applies. Special rates for seniors and groups are available. Active military and children under age 5 are admitted free. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. To gain real insider knowledge, call ahead to arrange a guided tour.