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Who Invented The Submarine?

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The submarine has origins in several different parts of history. The earliest submarine was an image that Leonardo da Vinci created. There was also a British mathematician that drew up diagrams for a submarine in the 1570s. However, both of these men only made diagrams and pictures. Neither da Vinci nor the British mathematician name William Bourne actually created the submarine. It was not until 1620 that the first actual working submarine was created. Find out just who invented it and how by reading on.

Cornelius van DrebbelCornelius van Drebbel.

Cornelius van Drebbel

Cornelius van Drebbel is the person that is credited for the invention of the first submarine. In 1620, he managed to cover a wooden rowboat in leather that was coated in a wax like substance to make it waterproof. The oars were out to the sides of the boat, the oar holes were covered in a lightly wrapped waterproof leather. There are two different theories as to how Drebbel and his men were able to stay underwater for almost 3 hours.

How he stayed underwater?

There is the idea of tubes being floated to the surface to help provide air to the men in the boat. There is also the thought of Drebbel having a type of liquid concoction that turned carbon dioxide into oxygen. It is stated that pig bladders on the floorboards of the boat were used to sink the boat by allowing them to fill with water, and then to surface, they forced the water out of the bladders.

A diagram of Bushnell's American TurtleDavid Bushnell’s American Turtle.

David Bushnell

David Bushnell is the first to create a submarine for military use. It was in 1776 that he created a wooden one-man submarine. It was powered by hand cranks that turned propellers. The idea was to use the submarine to attach small explosives to the hulls of the British ships. The submarine worked, and worked well however the small explosives were unable to sink any ships.

John P. Holland And Simon Lake

John P. Holland and Simon Lake were rival inventors that created the first true forms of submarines. Russia and Japan liked the designs of Simon Lake while the US Navy opted for the designs of John P. Holland. They both used gas or steam engines for surface travel, while submerged the submarines used electrical engines.