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Ever Hear of a ... "Submarine Library?"
May 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers

May 1956 Young Men
• Hobbies • Aviation • Careers

May 1956 Young Men Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

Amazingly, the General Dynamics Corporation's Groton, Connecticut, Electric Boat Division is still in operation after all the years passed since this article appeared in Young Men magazine. According to the company website, "Established in 1899, Electric Boat has established standards of excellence in the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for the U.S. Navy. Primary operations are the shipyard in Groton, CT, the automated hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, RI, and an engineering building in New London, CT. The current workforce is more than 14,000 employees." Why "electric boat?," you might ask? Submarines, whilst submersed, are typically driven by electric motors powered by storage batteries. When on or near the ocean surface, a diesel engine powers the craft while recharging the batteries. Nuclear powered subs can run underwater nearly indefinitely since they do not require air for combustion. Shown here are some of the many models of the world's submarines throughout their relatively short history. The library's more than 1,200 books record of Alexander the Great having had himself sealed in a glass barrel and lowered into the water in order to observe submarine phenomena. For some reason the library's employees are not named. The man building the models is in a business suit, but then it was still fairly common at the time for men to wear a suit and tie even at home whilst performing domestic chores or participating in a hobby. These vintage modeling magazines are full of images as proof. BTW, is that Bernadette Peter's mother in the photos? ;-)

Ever Hear of a ... "Submarine Library?"

History-making ships of the 'silent service' reproduced in scale models - airplanes and Rockets

History-making ships of the "silent service" reproduced in scale models.

To serve as a lasting tribute to the men of the submarine service and house a permanent record of the submarine's development is the mission of this unique library-museum maintained in Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co., Division of General Dynamics Corp., largest U.S. undersea craft builders. Gathered here are facts and figures on some 500 submarines; exhibits include over 1200 books, photographs, plans, printed matter and various mementos dealing with the "silent service" as well as authentic scale models of the most significant U.S. and foreign submersibles. The Library is open to the public five days a week and is extensively used by students, engineers, naval personnel and employees of Electric Boat. Some of the material on file dates back to Alexander the Great, 4th century king of Macedonia, who had himself sealed in a glass barrel and lowered to the sea bottom "to defy the whale." Exhibited also are models of David Bushnell's Revolutionary War sub "Turtle" with which he attempted to blow up British men-of-war anchored in New York harbor by attaching a time bomb to their hulls, and John P. Holland's first U.S. Navy sub "Holland" built in 1900 by Electric Boat. Incidentally, the date of April 11, 1900, when the "Holland" was delivered to the Navy is considered as the official birthday of the submarine.

Model of Peruvian submarine R-1 - airplanes and Rockets

Model of Peruvian submarine R-1. Original built by Electric Boat in 1926, refitted, modernized in 1935.

Atomic-powered craft SSN 575 (N for Nuclear) Seawolf - airplanes and Rockets

Latest in subs, contrasting with Fulton's, is second atomic-powered craft SSN 575 (N for Nuclear) Seawolf.

French Surcout was largest submarine until advent of Jap I-400 - airplanes and Rockets

French Surcout was largest submarine until advent of Jap I-400 type. Two 8-in. cannon, 4304 tons displacement.

Robert Fulton's Nautilus built in France in 1797 - airplanes and Rockets

Robert Fulton's Nautilus built in France in 1797. Used sail for power on surface, hand-driven prop underwater.

World's first atomic-powered vessel, U.S.S. Nautilus - airplanes and Rockets

World's first atomic-powered vessel, U.S.S. Nautilus. Model being checked against plans to assure accuracy.

U.S.S. S-40 commissioned in 1923 - airplanes and Rockets

U.S.S. S-40 commissioned in 1923 (above) inspected by two visitors. In Philippines when War II broke out.

David Bushnell's Turtle built in 1776 - airplanes and Rockets

David Bushnell's Turtle built in 1776 (left). Barrel-like craft was wood construction, had crude "Schnorkel."



Posted January 6, 2024

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my
life I have endeavored to maintain
some form of model building activity.
This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright 1996 - 2030

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

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