Model Boat Mayhem

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Author Topic: 16th Century Sub  (Read 1438 times)


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16th Century Sub
« on: April 28, 2007, 09:29:15 am »

From Today's MSN UK

I would never have guessed

Yet another invention claimed by America but in actual fact the first submarine was designed by William Bourne of Gravesend. Bourne was a mathematician, innkeeper and former naval gunner who wrote A Regiment for the Sea, the Royal Navy’s first navigational text. However it was in his book, Inventions and Devises of 1578, that Bourne first described his plans for an underwater exploration vehicle. The craft was effectively a covered rowing boat made of oiled leather over a wooden frame and powered by oars. However it was a Dutchman, Cornelius Jacobszoon Drebbel, who first put Bourne’s design into practice.

Working for the Royal Navy, he launched the first prototype in 1620, 38 years after Bourne’s death. Over the next four years Drebbel tested two larger models, culminating in a six-oar, 16 passenger vehicle that was demonstrated to King James I. This could stay submerged for up to three hours, cruising the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich and back again at a depth of five metres. Despite the King’s patronage the Royal Navy held no truck with the new fangled submersible and Drebbel died in virtual poverty in 1633.

Picture of replica Drebbel Sub
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Re: 16th Century Sub
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2007, 04:38:22 pm »

Hi Tiger Tiger,

They did a program about this a while back. A team of engineers etc had to build a replica one for a BBC TV series.

Clive :)

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