Submarine Turtle from Revolutionary War


This submarine was designed and built by David Bushnell to move with only the small top above water to attach the mine to the British frigate Eagle anchored in New York harbor. The attack did not sink the British ship. A replica of the Turtle was built and tested successfully in recent years, using the directions Bushnell wrote to Thomas Jefferson. This working replica is at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Ct.

The lone operator entered through the hatch at the top, and guided the Turtle as he looked through the port hole. He sat on the chair at the center, turning the forward propeller with a crank and controlling direction with the rudder. He could control water entering the ballast tank or being pumped out to control depth and use the vertical prop, and breathe using the ventilator shown.