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Submarine Pioneers

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Biographies are hyperlinked from the "Biography" caption.   Full screen images are hyperlinked from the thumbnails on the left.   High-resolution images, suitable for print media, are hyperlinked from the words "Hi-Rez Photo" in the caption.  Source of information:  Naval Historical Center.

John Holland

John Holland

John Holland, a school teacher born in Ireland, designed the Navy's first submarine, the Holland VI, which the Navy purchased on 11 April 1900 and commissioned as USS Holland (SS-1) on 12 October 1900.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Simon Lake

Simon Lake

Simon Lake competed with John Holland to build the Navy's first submarine. Although the Navy did not purchase Lake's submarine Protector, it used some of Lake's inventions in its submarines.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Photo Not Available

Charles A. Morris

Charles Morris, a New Jersey engineer, helped John Holland design the Holland VI. He served as shipyard superintending engineer during the construction of the Holland VI.

(Biography)

William W. Kimball

Rear Admiral William W. Kimball, USN (ret.)

RADM William Kimball was one of the first officers assigned to the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island. As an ordnance lieutenant, he worked to bring Holland's submarine plans to the attention of senior Navy officials.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Photo Not Available

Elihu Frost

Elihu Frost provided the early financial backing that allowed Holland to build his prototype submarine. He helped incorporate the Holland Torpedo Boat Company.

(Biography)

Isaac Rice

Isaac Rice

Isaac Rice was president of the Electro-Dynamic Company, which made the batteries for Holland VI. He merged the Electro-Dynamic Company with the Holland Torpedo Boat Company, to form the Electric Boat Company.

(Biography)  Hi-Rez Photo Not Available

Arthur L. Busch

Arthur L. Busch was chief constructor at the Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey when he met John P. Holland in 1896. Busch became construction supervisor for the building of Holland VI, and subsequently supervised construction of Fulton, the prototype for the A-class submarines.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Photo Not Available

August Busch (no relation to Arthur L. Busch)

August Busch, a St. Louis industrialist, bought the American rights to Rudolf Diesel's engine patents. His Busch-Sulzer Company made most of the Navy's early diesel engines.

(Biography)

Photo Not Available

Charles Creecy

Charles Creecy, a Washington attorney, was legal counsel to the Holland Torpedo Boat Company. His lobbying efforts helped win submarine construction contracts for the company.

(Biography)

Frank Cable

Frank Cable

Frank Cable, a Philadelphia engineer, served as test captain for the submarine Holland VI during her initial sea trials. Cable repaired the Holland VI's motors after she sank at pier side in 1897.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Photo Not Available

Captain John T. Lowe, USN (ret.)

CAPT John Lowe helped navigate the submarine Holland VI during the final series of tests that persuaded the Navy to purchase the submarine. He then wrote the final test report recommending that the Navy purchase the submarine. He also spent 15 hours submerged during an endurance test.

(Biography)

Harry H. Caldwell

Commander Harry H. Caldwell, USN (ret.)

CDR Harry Caldwell, the Navy's first submarine commanding officer, assumed command of USS Holland (SS-1) on 6 October 1900. Caldwell also served on the staff of Admiral George Dewey.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

L.Y. Spear

Lawrence York (L.Y.) Spear

L.Y. Spear graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served six years before resigning his commission. He was the naval officer (naval constructor) assigned by the Navy to supervise construction at the Crescent Shipyard from 1900 to 1902. Several of the Navy's first submarines were built during this period. He was president of the Electric Boat Company during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)





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