Archive for October, 2008

A Wooden Submarine in New Hampshire!

Posted in Submarines (Pre-1900) on October 16, 2008 by secondmdus

“The tale of (Thomas) Buckley’s submarine at Hampton Beach years ago, sparked the interest of The Beachcomber this week with images of Jules Verne scenario right here in New Hampshire. …”


A steam powered fish: the Ictíneo

Posted in Submarines (Pre-1900) on October 15, 2008 by secondmdus

“Few Victorian inventions have the grace and charm of the Ictíneo, the series of two wooden submarines built by Narcís Monturiol i Estarrol in the second half of the nineteenth century. Unlike some of the better known early submarines from his contemporaries in Germany, France and the United States, the Catalan inventor managed to build submarines that operated flawlessly.”

Read more at:

The Pook Turtle Project

Posted in Ships on October 15, 2008 by secondmdus

Here’ to the Pook Turtle Project – an effort to build a working — full size — replica of the USS Carondelet – one of the river ironclads from the American Civil War.

Bessemer Saloon and other experimental ships

Posted in Ships on October 15, 2008 by secondmdus

Just when you think you have seen it all, you come across another wonderful Victorian ship design – the Bessemer Saloon Steamship.  Includes mentions of the Flettner Rotor Ship, Novograd Ironclads, Winans Steamship, and several other novel ships.

A Brief History of U.S. Navy Torpedo Development

Posted in Munitions on October 15, 2008 by secondmdus

“A Brief History of U.S. Navy Torpedo Development, sometimes called OP 353W or TD5436. This report covers the growth/development of the “auto-mobile” or self-propelled torpedo in the U.S. Navy from torpedo inception in Europe by Robert Whitehead in 1866 up to and including Torpedo Mk 48 of 1978. Part I is a narrative of the historical aspects of the evolution, while part II contains illustrations and characteristics of each of the torpedoes that was in development or is/was in service use over the 112-year period.”

This Navy report contains many great images of early torpedo designs -well worth a look!

The Portland

Posted in Ships on October 15, 2008 by secondmdus

Like many news junkies I tend to look at the news headlines on Yahoo frequently.  A few days ago, a story caught my attention … it read “The Portland, known as the “Titanic of New England,” sank off the Massachusetts coast Nov. 26, 1898, after it sailed from Boston, taking more than 190 people with it.”

As I read the story of divers stretching their limits and that of their gear to reach the wreck of the Portland, something from my childhood passed before my memory.

One day, long ago, my great-grandmothers best friend came to her home and borrowed her suitcase – she was going away on a steam boat excursion. She would never return – she had sailed on a ship called the Portland that had gone down with all hands- my g-grandmother reportedly said, upon hearing the news, “that was my best suitcase!”

It is truly chilling to view the images of the wreck, and to realize that something that belonged to your ancestor so long ago nestles among the ruins of the once proud vessel, along with the remains of my g-grandmothers friend and the other souls who met their doom on that long ago night.

Click here for the article:

Click here for more on the ship


Flanigan and Cowan Armored Vehicles (1850s/1860s)

Posted in Armored Devices, Tanks on October 12, 2008 by secondmdus

This link is to an interesting discussion of two 19th century ideas of armored vehicles of John Flanigan and Englishman James Cowan. –