Bauer has announced her intention to keep the History of
Diving Museum open following the April 3, 2007 death of her
devoted husband, Dr. Joe Bauer, Jr. The museum is located in
the Upper Florida Keys.
Drs. Joseph and Sally Bauer - Founders of the Florida Keys History of
By Dr. Sam Miller
Before retiring, Joseph
A Bauer, Jr. M.D. was a specialist in General, Laser and Colorectal
Surgery, and Sally E Bauer, M.D. an Emergency Medicine physician.
Dr. Joe did research at the
National Institutes of Health in Transplantation Surgery. Later, he not only
devoted his time to his patients, but also brought innovations to various fields
of surgery. He developed Surgical and Medical Intensive Care Units and Initiated
Surgical Endoscopy procedures in the Cleveland area. Joe envisioned a way to
lower the cost of medical care by developing the first freestanding,
physician-owned and operated Outpatient Surgical Center of which he was the
Managing General Partner. To promote Outpatient Surgery, he developed a number
of surgical procedures that produced less pain and more rapid postoperative
He introduced videoscopic
(Laparoscopic) Surgery for gall bladder disease, to the northeastern United
States, after studies in Europe. He trained many other physicians in "keyhole"
surgery - a common procedure today.
Dr. Sally developed considerable
organizational, staff management and logistical skills as an ER physician. Those
skills enabled her to help Joe plan, design, build and administer the outpatient
surgical centers that became a model for the nation and those skills are now
instrumental in the development of the Museum.
During their careers the Bauers
pursued avocations as Marine Biologists, SCUBA Divers and as Diving Historians.
Their passion was to learn the evolution and history of man's entry into the
sea, and to share this largely untold story with others. Their focus and
expertise is on the early history of diving and technology, prior to the
development of SCUBA. After authoring the Diving Helmet chapter in The Pictorial
History of Diving, they were founding members of the International Historical
Diving Society of both the United Kingdom and the United States. The Bauers
publish professional articles on diving history, based on their basic research
of original documents in libraries throughout the world. They have discovered
new links in the early progress of diving, which had previously been
unrecognized. They are currently working on a book about the "open bottom" or
shallow water diving helmets that were the most significant contribution of
South Florida and the Keys to the worldwide history of diving.
These helmets fostered the
beginnings of modern marine biology and treasure salvage, of underwater
photography and initiated the current interest in sports diving.
Over the years, the Bauers have
acquired the world's largest collection of Diving Helmets, hand-operated air
pumps, armored suits, lights and other accessory gear, plus memorabilia, prints,
photographs, books, film and video. The collection represents the contributions
of more than 30 countries to diving history and portions have been displayed in
museums within the US and out of the country. These considerable historic
resources, as well as the Bauer's expertise in their history, will be available
to the Museum for its Exhibits and Historical Programs and for educational,
lecture and study material.
The Bauer's are devoting their
retirement years to providing their extensive collection and the results of
their research in diving history for the enjoyment of others. They are
determined to apply their considerable enthusiasm, expertise, and their unique
collection of historic diving artifacts to establish and successfully operate an
international, world-class Museum of Diving History in the Upper Keys.
In Memory of
Dr. Joe A. Bauer, Jr.
By Kenny Wheeler
diving community has lost a great treasure and friend. Dr.
Joe, as he was known, passed away on April 3, 2007.
Dr. Bauer was
not a Dive Instructor, nor did he discover any Treasure
Galleons. Dr. Joe was a world renowned surgeon, a passionate
Diver and Dive Historian. Dr. Joe became famous twice in his
life. Dr. Bauer, the surgeon, was a specialist in General,
Laser and Colorectal Surgery. Dr. Bauer developed the first
free standing, physician-owned and operated Outpatient
Surgical Center as a way to reduce medical costs. He
developed a number of surgical procedures that led to less
pain and much shorter recovery times for patients. Dr. Bauer
introduced Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Surgery for gall bladder
disease. These procedures and the outpatient clinics are
Dr. Joe, the
Diver, and his wife Dr. Sally Bauer, M.D., along with their
busy medical careers, pursued avocations as marine
biologists, SCUBA divers and diving Historians. The Bauer’s’
acquired the worlds largest collection of diving helmets,
hand operated air pumps, armored suits, lights, accessory
gear, memorabilia, prints, photographs, books, film and
video. The collection represents the contributions of more
than 30 countries to diving history.
retiring, Dr. Joe & Sally devoted their time, expertise and
their unique collection of historic artifacts to the
development of a world class History of Diving Museum
located in the Upper Florida Keys. The History of Diving
Museum opened to the world in September of 2007. Dr. Joe
wanted to show the world the complete story of “Man’s Quest
to Explore the Sea” and share this largely untold story. Dr.
Joe’s story begins 5000 years ago and takes you on the
journey up to modern SCUBA. My favorite memory of Dr. Joe is
walking the corridors of the museum telling the story of
diving to me and other guests. When he spoke his eyes would
light up, he became animated, passionate and his voice would
explode with energy. This is how I will remember Dr. Joe.
It is rare
that a man leaves a legacy that affects the world. It is far
rarer still to leave two different legacies to humanity. Dr
Joe not only left a legacy as a surgeon, innovator, and
pioneer of medical procedures but he left the world, the
story of diving. We have truly lost a great man. He was a
Diver and will be sorely missed.
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