John Philip Holland (1841-1914), inventor of the modern submarine, was born on this day in Ireland.
This quiet, shy man was a teacher who dreamed of building an underwater boat to help Ireland gain independence from Britain. By 1870, he had designed plans for such a boat, but did not have the money to make his dream come true.
Holland moved to America in 1873 and continued to experiment with designs until he sold the U.S. Navy its first submarine, the USS Holland, in 1900 for $120,000. The vessel was 53 feet long, displaced 75 tons, with an electric motor for underwater propulsion and gas engine for surface propulsion.
Designed to glide smoothly underwater while withstanding deep ocean pressure, the submarine has captured the hearts and imagination of sailors and writers. Running silent and deep...
On this date in 1916 the black and white version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the science fiction adventure of Captain Nemo and his Nautilus submarine, opened in New York. "Anything one man can imagine," Verne wrote, "other men can make real."
Let your imagination dive and glide.