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      The Intelligent Whale...

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      Tom(ADMIN)
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      The Intelligent Whale... Empty The Intelligent Whale...

      Post  Tom(ADMIN) Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:07 pm

      Intelligent Whale, an experimental hand-cranked submarine, was built on the design of Scovel Sturgis Merriam in 1863 by Augustus Price and Cornelius Scranton Bushnell. In 1864 the American Submarine Company was formed, taking over the interests of Bushnell and Price and there followed years of litigation over the ownership of the craft. When title was established by a court the submarine was sold 29 October 1869 to the United States Navy Department, with most of the price to be paid after successful trials. In September 1872 the first trial was held and was unsuccessful, whereupon the Department refused further payments and abandoned the project.

      Intelligent Whale submerged by filling water compartments, and expelled the water by pumps and compressed air. It was estimated that it could stay submerged for about ten hours. Thirteen crewmen could be accommodated, but only six were needed to make her operational. The only known trial, reported by submarine pioneer John Philip Holland, was made by a certain General Sweeney and two others. They submerged the boat in 16 feet of water and Sweeney, clad in a diver's suit, emerged through a hole in the bottom, placed a charge under a scow, and re-entered the submarine. The charge was exploded by a lanyard and a friction primer attached to the charge, sinking the scow.

      As of June 2007, this submarine is on exhibit at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey in Sea Girt, New Jersey


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      The Intelligent Whale... Empty Re: The Intelligent Whale...

      Post  david f Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:21 pm

      You are trying to tempt me again, Richard!

      I think I read somewhere that this had killed about 30 crew members??
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      Tom(ADMIN)
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      Post  Tom(ADMIN) Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:27 pm

      I'm still researching the boat David, no doubt I'll find out more as I go. I'm not trying to tempt you into building it...I'm trying to stop me!
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      Post  Tom(ADMIN) Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:45 pm

      Found some more pics of this interesting boat..

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      And a pic of small resin model of the Whale...@ £165.

      The Intelligent Whale... Bto5ph10
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      Post  Guest Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:14 pm

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      Last edited by Poolruns on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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      Tom(ADMIN)
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      Post  Tom(ADMIN) Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:46 pm

      There is a report in the San Francisco Call newspaper, July 20th 1901, of the launch of the Whale...

      The Brooklyn Navy Yard simply teems with relics and curiosities of absorbing interest, says the New York Mall and Express. There is a navy museum on the grounds, with curios of every description, but the curio par excellence of the yard is a large hulk of iron rotting with rust in a remote and unfrequented corner of the grounds having no connection whatever with the museum. This curio is the first submarine boat ever made in this country. The Whale is the odd name of this boat. Nothing could be more appropriate, for the vessel is bulky, ugly and clumsy. The story of the Whale is one of the most tragic chapters in the history of the yard.

      She was built during the CivilWar, in the early sixties, and wonderful things were expected of her. The designer of the vessel got Congress Interested in his plan, and the Government made a large appropriation for the building of the boat. Not only did the Government and the designer expect that naval warfare was about to be evolutionized, but the people throughout the whole country as well, much having been published about the vessel in the newspapers. The designer had an idea that he would go down in history as another Ericsson. Instead of that, however, his name has gone to oblivion, and there is not an officer or jacky at the yard who can recall his name.

      The vessel was a long time in construction. When, finally, she was completed, arrangements were made for a gala launching. Volunteers were asked for to man the boat on her first trip under water. There were twice as many men volunteered as were wanted. The vessel was fitted with a crew, and then submerged. Half an hour afterward the vessel was fished up from the muddy bottom with her entire crew of sixteen men dead.

      The Inventor then discovered a faulty valve, and said that when that was remedied there would be no fault in the boat. The valve was changed and another launching took place, fourteen volunteers going down in her this time. Like their brother jackies of the first experiment, they never again saw the light of day.

      It was two years before the Whale received its third and last trial. In the meantime the inventor had made many changes, and he assured all the spectators that "this time there is positively no danger whatever." Notwithstanding his assurance, however, only twelve men dared to enter the boat and be submerged. . For a long time the crowd waited to see her reappear. But she only reappeared after twenty-five minutes, and her reappearance was due to her being hauled out by a derrick. The twelve men had been dead for a good while.

      Having killed forty-two men. no further experiments were ever made. The vessel is no longer known to the jackies as the Whale, but bears among them the more appropriate appellaition of "The Man-Killer."
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      Post  Guest Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:37 pm

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      Last edited by Poolruns on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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      Post  Tom(ADMIN) Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:18 pm

      Top man Andy, that's perfect...many thanks for that.
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      Post  david f Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:19 am

      Yes, I read about the death toll recently in the biography of Simon Lake.

      BTW Richard, if you are thinking of building her, she could be a candidate for uPVC construction.

      This is working out very well on the U Class - good for winter building - no smells.

      From the photos you also don't need much detail or smooth surface finish!

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      Post  Tom(ADMIN) Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:27 am

      She was later named the "Man Killer"...for very good reason, it would seem.

      Nigel and I were discussing methods of construction, and your uPVC method did come up David...definately one for consideration, along with styrene sheet over a wood frame. Plenty of food for thought!

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