Much older than I thought
1623 Dutchman CORNELIUS DREBBEL, hired in 1603 as "court inventor" for James I of England, built what seems to have been the first working submarine. According to accounts, some of which may have been written by people who actually saw the submarine, it was a decked-over rowboat, propelled by twelve oarsmen, which made a submerged journey down the Thames River at a depth of about fifteen feet. There are no credible illustrations of Drebbel's boat, and no credible explanations of how it worked. Best guess: the boat was designed to have almost-neutral buoyancy, floating just awash, with a downward-sloping foredeck to act as a sort of diving plane. The boat would be driven under the surface by forward momentum . . . just as are most modern submarines. When the rowers stopped rowing, the boat would slowly rise. This is supposed to be the Worlds first true submarine Together with Palmcrantzs Verkstader, J & CG Bolinders Mekaniska Verkstads AB built the world's first submarine between 1879 and 1883. It was designed by weapons engineer Thorsten Nordenfeldt. How the world has changed in such a few years; I was prompted to write of this subject after being stuck halfway through a book on the German and true version of a U Boat at sea; it would seem that today's Submariners have a wonderful life compared to those dark days of 1939-1945. But it seems that this the first ever military Submarine was used against British forces by American revolutionaries it did not work quite as intended as the explosive failed I believe BUT it did force the Brits to have better security in New York Harbour. The first American submarine is as old as the United States itself. If the word Turtle springs to mind you are on the right track a David Bushnell a Yale graduate was the fellow. who thought of it. so I guess you could say from this Turtle to this In not all that many years longer than the way flight has evolved but the sea has a mystery of it's own never fear. These Submarines even in the first and second world wars were not only living death traps for the enemy but their own crew as well. Reading further I find that the American Subs Americans installed the much safer Diesel engine as prior to 1912 power was by Petroleum engine and battery naturally for underwater; until Nuclear power was used boats as Subs are usually called had to stay on the surface a lot not anymore; The one thing I don't like about them is the carrying of nuclear missiles. I guess I have ranted long enough about a favourite of mine but you may learn something readers who knows.