In 1953, the idea to put seat belts in cars hadn’t really occurred to anyone yet, and chances are your doctor had to put down his cigarette to ask you to turn your head and cough. People just weren’t that obsessed with safety.
So I guess that it should come as no surprise to find out that if you needed a set of SCUBA gear, well, you just strapped a couple of spent CO2 bottles to a piece of plywood, added a length of vacuum cleaner hose and called it good.
It’s not that I am praticularly risk averse, I ride motorcycles, and have even been known to pilot a gyroplane if given the chance. And I don’t exactly hide the fact that I like making my own stuff as much as the next guy (maybe even a bit more), but somehow it just strikes me as a bit sketchy to trust your life to an aqualung cobbled together from a bunch of refuse.
Those were adventuresome times, before the liability lawsuit ruled the nation, and everybody looked at you sideways if your child’s car booster seat lacked the latest 9-point harness.
That regulator wasn’t meant to go in the water? No Problem! Just slather a little rubber cement on there, it’ll hold for a while. C’mon, stop complaining! Get creative!
I jest, but the truth is, i am really excited that the DIY ethic seems to be returning in a big way right now. Magazines like Make and Readymade are going gangbusters, crafting and homebuilding are big, and crazy, dangerous robotics projects are no longer the exclusive domain of SRL.