March 2, 2021 (Toledo, Ohio) – On Wednesday, March 17 at 7 p.m., the National Museum of the Great Lakes will plunge into the early years of diving with a virtual lecture titled The Heroic Age of Diving featuring Jerry Kuntz. In the 1840s and 50s, Lake Erie became the proving ground for the infancy of the underwater breathing apparatus. The salvage of three infamous passenger steamer wrecks, the Erie, the G. P. Griffth, and the Atlantic, became an incentive for divers and engineers to test the limits of these new devices.
The museum is hosting the lecture to take a deeper dive into the history of underwater exploration. “Today, much of our ability to research and record shipwrecks is because of the work of these early pioneers,” says National Museum of the Great Lakes’ Archaeological Director Carrie Sowden.
Based on research from his same-titled book, Mr. Kuntz’s lecture will share history through the lens of individuals like John Green—a man who kept secret the story of his own tragic shipwreck. Having received his Masters of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University, Mr. Kuntz is known for producing books that include exceptional, but little-known 19th Century Americans: wild west show sharpshooters, pioneer aviators, baseball league promoters, dance hall denizens, a teenage Amazon plant hunter, and early apparatus divers. He is currently researching the balloon-parachuting craze of the 1890s.
The virtual event is FREE but registration is required. Donations are encouraged and can be given upon registration. In addition, the book The Heroic Age of Diving: America’s Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie can be purchased when registering. For more information, to register and/or purchase a book click here.