History of Diving Museum
Established2000, opened 2005
LocationIslamorada, Florida.
TypeHistory of underwater diving
FounderJoe Bauer and Sally Bauer
Executive directorLisa Mongelia[1]
PresidentSally E. Bauer[1]
ChairpersonChris Dutton[1]
CuratorLynea Wilson[1]

The History of Diving Museum is located in Islamorada, Florida which is in the Florida Keys. The museum's exhibits include a collection of vintage underwater diving equipment, a notable collection of diving helmets and various artifacts that are dedicated to the history of underwater diving.


History of Diving Museum, front entrance

The not-for-profit museum was founded by Joe and Sally Bauer, retired physicians. A chance purchase of a diving helmet had started their interest in diving and the ocean. They wrote scientific articles on oceanic topics, and assembled a large collection of diving artifacts. In 2000, they started turning a self-storage warehouse in Islamorada into a museum.[2][3][4][5] It opened to the public in 2005 and was in full operation the next year.[6] Joe died in 2007 and his widow Sally continued the work.[3][4]


As of 2014, the museum had 13 exhibits on diving history, beginning with a story from the 3-4 thousand year old Epic of Gilgamesh.[4][7] Diving pioneers such as Edmond Halley and Karl Heinrich Klingert are included. The museum has a large collection of diving helmets from over 20 countries.[7][8] The collection includes atmospheric diving suits such as the 1930 "Iron Mike".[7]


Sally Bauer was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2011.[5] She received the NOGI Award in 2019. The mayor of Islamorada proclaimed January 12, 2019, to be "Dr. Sally Bauer Day".[9]

The Bauers were also both founding members of the US and UK branches of the Historical Diving Society.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d "Museum Staff & Board". divingmuseum.org. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  2. ^ Cocking, Susan (17 September 2006). "Taking a dive into history". The Miami Herald. p. 86. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b Rhodes, Don (15 August 2014). "Museum began out of a love of diving and one another". The Reporter. pp. B1. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Rhodes, Don (15 August 2014). "Museum began out of a love of diving and one another". The Reporter. pp. B3. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Johnson, Kalie (20 June 2018). "BW biology alumna celebrates lifelong passion with growing diving museum". Baldwin Wallace University. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Museum History". History Of Diving Museum. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Howard, Willie (9 March 2007). "Underwater buffs can dive into history". The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. p. 23. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  8. ^ Wood, Jennifer M. (21 October 2020). "History of Diving Museum – Museum Review". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  9. ^ Fine, John Christopher (18 March 2019). "Bauer recognized for work". Florida Keys Weekly Newspapers. Retrieved 14 May 2022.