Early Submarine Evolution

The world's first submarine was bought by the U.S. Navy in April 1900, Holland, here traveling on the surface. Power: 45 hp gas engine and 50 hp electric motor. No conning tower or periscope. The captain looked through a porthole when she "porpoised." She had one torpedo tube. Holland built larger copies for England, Japan, and Russia.

With Simon Lake's addition of diving planes, control was like all later submarines. Simon Lake also added the conning tower.

The U.S. submarine C-1 of 1909 with experimental snorkel and periscope rising from the conning tower. Note sailor standing on deck, others higher to suggest the sub's size is much larger than the Holland above. One skipper of a sister sub, the C-5, was Chester W. Nimitz, who later commanded other submarines. One of the C's was the first American submarine to cross the Atlantic under her own power. The "C" means this is the third class of U. S. Navy submarines.