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CORNELIS DREBBEL first submarine

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CORNELIS DREBBEL first submarine

Postby aukepalmhof » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:48 pm

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In 2010 The Netherlands issued a set of stamps for the 100 anniversary of the “Octrooi Wet” (patent act), one of this stamps is interesting for ship stamp collectors, the stamp depict the first submarine built in the world by the Dutch inventor Cornelis Drebbel. The submarine did not fall in the timeframe of the patent act.
I believe also the image of the submarine on the stamp is made after the replica built for the BBC series ‘Building the Impossible’ ... marine.htm

In 1578 the first serious discussion of a craft designed to be navigated underwater appeared by the British mathematician and writer on naval subjects, William Bourne.

He proposed a complete enclosed boat that could be submerged and rowed underwater. It did have a wooden frame covered with waterproof leather, but he never constructed the boat.

Cornelis Drebbel a Dutch inventor born in Alkmaar, Netherlands in 1572, died in London in 1633, was the first who built a navigable submarine.
He went early 1605 from the Netherlands to Great Britain.
While working for the British King in 1820 and using the design of William Bourne he manufactured a steerable submarine, but how he exactly did look is unknown, some sources give that he used two rowboats upside down joined together, other give that he used a wooden frame covered with leather.
Between 1620 and 1624 Drebbel built and testes two other larger submarines.
The submarines were powered by rowers, the holes in the hull of the submarine through which the oars protruding were sealed by flexible leather seals.

Between 1620 and 1624 he tested and successfully manoeuvred his submarines at a depth of 4 to 5 meters beneath the surface on his trials at the River Thames, U.K.
Air tubes were held above the surface by floats, she could stay beneath the surface for three hours. Wikipedia gives that she could travel from Westminster to Greenwich and back, the largest submarine was powered by 6 oars and could carry 16 passengers. (how she could navigated below the surface from Westminster to Greenwich is nowhere given, I doubt that this voyage ever took place.)
It is reported that King James I made a test dive on her.

It is also said that Drebbel developed a chemical which purified the air and allowed the crew to stay submerged for extended periods.

The submarine could not attract enough enthusiasm from the British Admiralty and the boots were never by them used. (in Dutch has the following on the submarine)

Drebbel most resounding invention was his submarine. It is also however the invention which has been wrapped most in mysteries.
When exactly the test dive took place is unknown. It must be 1620 or 1621. According Abraham Kuffler (a son in law of Drebbel) the boat could carry 16 passengers and 8 rowers.
During a raging storm the submarine made her dive and after 24 hours she submerged again, and after the air had been refreshed the voyage was continued in a depth of 50 vadem (I never did know that the Thames was so deep?).
By using a compass the course was set to navigate the boat.
But the most strange thing was that in the part the rowers were seated there was no bottom in the boat; it must therefore be a moving diving bell.
According to an other version the submarine could carry 9 men, nevertheless still a respectable number.
Further given by one Cornelis van de Woude in 1645 that the submarine had made a voyage under water from Westminster to Greenwich, and that there was so much light in the submarine that one could read without the use of a candle.
Constantijn Huygens brings in his autobiography (1631) the matter to what more reasonable proportion. He writes she was a small boat which dived under the eyes of thousands of spectators in London.

Netherland 2010 0.44 Euro sg?, scott?
Guinea-Bissau 2008 350 FCFA sg?, scott?
Solomon Island 2013 $35 sgMS?, scott?
North Macedonia 2020 100 sg?, scott?

Source: ... rebbel.htm Wikipedia info received from Erhard Jung. ... elis.shtml ... istory.htm
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