Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Intelligent Whale


Introduction from Historic Naval Ships Association web site:

Intelligent Whale was one of a number of submarines built during the Civil War. She was hand-propelled, and steered by horizontal and vertical rudders. Wooden doors on the bottom allowed a diver to exit with a mine. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1869, and brought to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for testing. In September 1872, in her only official Navy test, Intelligent Whale flooded. The crew escaped, but the Navy's interest in her ceased. Intelligent Whale was an early experiment in a field now of great importance.

Type: Early experimental submarine.
Length: 28 feet, 8 inches
Beam: 7 feet
Operating crew: 6 to 13
Displacement: 2 tons
Submerged endurance: 10 hours
Buoyancy Control: Water buoyancy control; Compressed air for positive buoyancy and sea water for negative buoyancy.

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed By/
Source
(IW)1.90kFIRST SUBMARINE BOAT WITH ITS RECORD OF FORTY-TWO VICTIMS
THE WHALE, THE FIRST SUBMARINE BOAT. BUILT DURING THE CIVIL WAR, IS ROTTING WITH RUST AT THE BROOKLYN NAVY YARD. THE VESSEL WAS EXPECTED TO PERFORM WONDERS, BUT HER ONLY WORK WAS THE DROWNING OF HER CREWS.
Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside.
Photo from The San Francisco Call.(San Francisco [Calif.] 1895-1913, 20 July 1901, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
(IW)448kFIRST SUBMARINE BUILT IN AMERICA.
Fifteen men in all lost their lives in experimenting with her.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.] 1866-1924, 29 April 1906, Image 18, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
(IW)1.29kFIRST OF AMERICA'S SUBMARINES
The Whale, the first sbmarine built in the United States, is now on exhibition in the Brooklyn navy yard. It was built in 1864 by C. S. Bushnell and Augustus Rice, and is about twenty-nine feet long and nine feet deep. The Whale was designed to carry 13 men and was propelled by hand power. It cost $60,000 and was given a trial and condemned in 1872.
Image and text provided by Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA.
Photo from The Madison Journal. (Tallulah, Madison Parish, La.) 1888-current, 10 April 1915, Image 3, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
(IW)1.31kEARLY SUBMARINE WAS HAND PROPELLED.Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA.
Photo from Aberdeen Herald. (Aberdeen, Chehalis County, W.T.) 1886-1917, 23 September 1915, Image 7, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
(IW)194kStreroscopic photo of the Intelligent Whale as she rests abandoned at New York Navy Yard. Library of Congress Photo # 3b04942u courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
(IW)772kFirst sub Intelligent Whale built in 1864. Cost $60,000 to build. Condemned in 1872. It is 28.8 ft. in length, 9 ft. deep. 1/2 inch thick iron - Brooklyn Navy Yard on 25 March 1931. Photo #v08_06_006708 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
(IW)383kOne of the earliest vessels on display at the Brooklyn Navy Yard: the Intelligent Whale, a 19th-century hand-cranked submarine. Photo by George Strock, courtesy of life.time.com
(IW)843kTwo views of the Intelligent Whale, circa 1947.Photo courtesy of NARA, Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, 1784 - 2000.
Photos added 01/16/16.
(IW)179k Starboard side view of the Intelligent Whale as an exhibit at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey, in Sea Girt, N.J.Photo courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.

View the Intelligent Whale DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Intelligent Whale: A Historical and Archaeological Analysis of an American Civil War Submersible.
Submarine History / An Illustrated Survey of Key Events in Submarine History

Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Submarine Index
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster
This page is created and maintained by Michael Mohl
1996 - 2017, NavSource History All rights reserved.