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The Lambertsen Amphibious Respiratory Unit (LARU, for short) is an early model of closed circuit oxygen "rebreather, used by military "frogmen. "Christian J. Lambertsen designed a series of them in the USA in 1940 (patent filing date: 16 Dec 1940) and in 1944 (issue date: 2 May 1944).[1]



The LARU is what the initials SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) originally meant; Lambertsen changed his invention's name to SCUBA in 1952;[2] but later "SCUBA", gradually changing to "scuba", came to mean (first in the USA) any self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. (Modern "diving regulator technology was invented by "Émile Gagnan and "Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1943 and was not related to rebreathers; nowadays the word SCUBA is largely used to mean Gagnan's and Cousteau's invention and its derivatives.)


Lambertsen designed the LARU while a medical student and demonstrated the LARU to the "Office of Strategic Services (OSS) (after already being rejected by the U.S. Navy) in a pool at the "Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. in 1942[3][4] The OSS "Operational Swimmer Group" was formed and Lambertsen's responsibilities included training and developing methods of combining self-contained diving and swimmer delivery including the LARU.[5][6]


Many diving rebreathers are descended from it. However, there were earlier underwater uses of rebreathers:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lambertsen's patent in Google Patents
  2. ^ See Lambertsen's homage by the Passedaway.com website
  3. ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (February 19, 2011). "Christian J. Lambertsen, OSS officer who created early scuba device, dies at 93". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  4. ^ staff (2013-10-30). "'America's first frogman' dies in Bend at 95". "KTVZ. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  5. ^ Vann RD (2004). "Lambertsen and O2: beginnings of operational physiology". Undersea Hyperb Med. 31 (1): 21–31. "PMID 15233157. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  6. ^ Butler FK (2004). "Closed-circuit oxygen diving in the U.S. Navy". Undersea Hyperb Med. 31 (1): 3–20. "PMID 15233156. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 

External links[edit]

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