Leon Lyons has become the
foremost authority on vintage and late model diving helmets. Collectors
throughout the world contact him with questions on the authenticity of helmets.
Leon G. Lyons was born
on January 17, 1942 in the Inwood section of New York City. He attended
elementary school at Holy Redeemer Convent in the downtown area of
Manhattan before moving to Edgewater, New Jersey at the age of 10. There
he finished the elementary grades at the Epiphany School in Cliffside.
He graduated from Saint
Cecilia's High School in Englewood and attended St. Peter's College in
Jersey City and Fairleigh
University in Paramus. During that time he worked for the Aluminum Company
of America, starting in the mailroom, and then working in their computer
In 1963, Lyons joined the U.S.
Army. On completion of basic training, he was assigned to the Signal Corps. He
served for two years in Japan on a transmitter site in the prefecture of
While stationed there, he joined
the rifle team which competed in major competitions in Hawaii.
the Army, he worked for the family business. Jerry's Bar and Restaurant
in Edgewater, and the Duro Test Company in Union City, in their computer
department. In 1968 he moved to Puerto Rico where he is in partnership
with his father in a gun
shop. He has competed in
international shooting events and represented Puerto Rico in the Central American Games in Cuba, 1969, and the Dominican Republic, 1974.
Leon G. Lyons is a major
collector of diving helmets and other equipment pertaining to diving. He also
collects U.S. coins and World War II firearms.
favorite pastime, besides diving helmets, is enjoying Puerto Rico's year-round
sunshine and beaches.
Lyons says, 'These last four
or five years getting this book ready have sharply cut into my beach time. Now
that it is finished, it's back to the beach with a nice tall vodka and orange
juice on ice."
Leon Lyons is
heralded as one of the most leading authorities on dive helmets and other
maritime collectibles. The first edition of his book, Helmets of the Deep, will sell as high as $5,000 on
popular auction sites. It was published in 1988 and has been sold out for years.
He is writing the second edition and hopes to have the book ready by the end of
the year. He will be writing very intriguing articles for the Quarry website
Leon has reopened his diving
maritime museum in his home in St. Augustine, FL, and for those who wish to see
it should call him to make an appointment. The tour is usually around two hours,
and for only two people at a time. There is a tour fee involved. He can be
reached at 904-825-0184, or through
Recently there has been a flood
of phony late models being passed off as vintage. Leon can tell you in a second
whether the helmet is a complete vintage helmet. He will be writing articles and
stories of his adventures in search of vintage dive equipment.