Happy Birthday Jacques

Jacques-Yves Cousteau would have been 100 years old today. He was born on June 11, 1910, in southern
and died on June 25, 1997, at age 87. He was a pioneer of underwater diving and filming. If he were still around today, I’m sure he would love to have a look around B&H’s SuperStore, which carries a full line of underwater photographic and video gear.

When I was growing up in the ‘70s, any Jacques Cousteau TV special was much better than anything else you could watch in the same time slot. After all, there were only seven major TV channels, and no VCRs. Cousteau produced more than 120 TV documentaries, more than 50 books, and an environmental protection foundation with 300,000 members. He also helped design the first prototype aqualung, which he tested in 1943.


As interesting as the Jacques Cousteau TV specials were, the quality of his films was crude by today’s standards. If it’s not in high definition, I don’t want to watch it, especially if it’s something that’s visually dazzling. I’m sure Jacques would be impressed with all the affordable hi-def gear that’s available today: An amateur diver on a tight budget can buy high-definition underwater video gear that puts to shame anything to which Jacques Cousteau had access.


In fact, I possess a bit of Cousteau memorabilia. About ten years ago, I bought and restored a 1970 Cougar convertible. There was a Cousteau Society sticker on one of the rear quarter windows, which was too cool to scrape off, so it's still there. The woman who bought the car new was a member. The Cousteau Society is still active today, and it’s turning the original Calypso into a museum -- a fine tribute to the memory and work of its founder.