General Dynamics Corporation's Groton,
Connecticut, Electric Boat Division is still in operation after all the years
passed since this article appeared in Young Men magazine. According to
the company website, "Established in 1899, Electric Boat has established standards
of excellence in the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for
the U.S. Navy. Primary operations are the shipyard in Groton, CT, the automated
hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, RI, and an engineering
building in New London, CT. The current workforce is more than 14,000 employees."
Why "electric boat?," you might ask? Submarines, whilst submersed, are typically
driven by electric motors powered by storage batteries. When on or near the ocean
surface, a diesel engine powers the craft while recharging the batteries. Nuclear
powered subs can run underwater nearly indefinitely since they do not require air
for combustion. Shown here are some of the many models of the world's submarines
throughout their relatively short history. The library's more than 1,200 books record
of Alexander the Great having had himself sealed in a glass barrel and lowered into
the water in order to observe submarine phenomena. For some reason the library's
employees are not named. The man building the models is in a business suit, but
then it was still fairly common at the time for men to wear a suit and tie even
at home whilst performing domestic chores or participating in a hobby. These vintage
modeling magazines are full of images as proof. BTW, is that
Bernadette Peter's mother in the photos? ;-)
Ever Hear of a ... "Submarine Library?"
History-making ships of the "silent service" reproduced in scale
To serve as a lasting tribute to the men of the submarine service and house a
permanent record of the submarine's development is the mission of this unique library-museum
maintained in Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co., Division of General Dynamics
Corp., largest U.S. undersea craft builders. Gathered here are facts and figures
on some 500 submarines; exhibits include over 1200 books, photographs, plans, printed
matter and various mementos dealing with the "silent service" as well as authentic
scale models of the most significant U.S. and foreign submersibles. The Library
is open to the public five days a week and is extensively used by students, engineers,
naval personnel and employees of Electric Boat. Some of the material on file dates
back to Alexander the Great, 4th century king of Macedonia, who had himself sealed
in a glass barrel and lowered to the sea bottom "to defy the whale." Exhibited also
are models of David Bushnell's Revolutionary War sub "Turtle" with which he attempted
to blow up British men-of-war anchored in New York harbor by attaching a time bomb
to their hulls, and John P. Holland's first U.S. Navy sub "Holland" built in 1900
by Electric Boat. Incidentally, the date of April 11, 1900, when the "Holland" was
delivered to the Navy is considered as the official birthday of the submarine.
Model of Peruvian submarine R-1. Original built by Electric Boat
in 1926, refitted, modernized in 1935.
Latest in subs, contrasting with Fulton's, is second atomic-powered
craft SSN 575 (N for Nuclear) Seawolf.
French Surcout was largest submarine until advent of Jap I-400
type. Two 8-in. cannon, 4304 tons displacement.
Robert Fulton's Nautilus built in France in 1797. Used sail for
power on surface, hand-driven prop underwater.
World's first atomic-powered vessel, U.S.S. Nautilus. Model being
checked against plans to assure accuracy.
U.S.S. S-40 commissioned in 1923 (above) inspected by two visitors.
In Philippines when War II broke out.
David Bushnell's Turtle built in 1776 (left). Barrel-like craft
was wood construction, had crude "Schnorkel."
Posted January 6, 2024