'Resurgam', the first mechanically propelled submarine, 1879.

'Resurgam', the first mechanically propelled submarine, 1879.
2 6 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 18cm


Photographic plate taken from 'The Engineer' (1882). Designed and patented by Manchester clergyman Reverend George William Garrett, the submarine was built in 1879 by Cochran & Co in Birkenhead, Merseyside, at a cost of £1500. It was fabricated using iron plates fastened over iron stringers and frames with the central section clad in wood retained by iron bars. Following successfully completed trials, on 25 February 1880 the submarine was on its way to Portsmouth to be demonstrated to the Royal Navy when it took on water and went down off Rhyl, Wales. In late 1995, the submarine was rediscovered when it was caught in the nets of a trawler.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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