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The Holland


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Interior of the Holland looking aft while under construction at the the Lewis Nixon Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey. The reduction gears can be seen in this image and a large opening where hull plating is still to go is covered with a large canvas tarp.

Library of Congress


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Holland being prepped for christening and launch. This photo might be a day or two prior to the launch date of May 17, 1897. Workmen seem to be clearing construction debris from around the submarine and loading something down the conning tower hatch with the crane.

US Navy Photo


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The christening of the submarine boat Holland by Mrs Lewis Nixon May 17, 1897 at her husbands Crescent Shipyard. John Holland can be seen to the right of Mrs Nixon in his bowler hat and wing collar. To the right in the group of workmen the man in the suit and hat with the wing collar look to be Mr. Matthews, a Holland Torpedo Boat investor.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland launch from the Lewis Nixon Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey May 17, 1897 amid much fanfare, bells ringing and ships whistles blowing and she slides into Arthur Kill waters. She is flying a 45 star flag donated by Lewis Nixon. Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico had not been admitted to the Union yet and Alaska and Hawaii were still 60 years away from admission.

US Navy Photo


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After making her first dive on St Patrick's Day, March 17, 1898, the Holland made a dive for a Navy Departmant observer, Lt. Nathan Sargent, on Sunday March 27, 1898 in Staten Island Sound and then retired to the Raritan docks. Here the Holland tested her forward dynamite gun for the Navy. The gun was aimed at Tottenville on Staten Island and the gun charged with only 600 pounds of compressed air instead of the 1000 pounds Holland had wanted and fired. The three foot long, fifty pound wood dummy-projectile, (circled), sailed 300 yards into the channel.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland shortly after her first trials was being written up in the newspapers giving her particulars as to her operation. She is seen here moored to docks in Perth Amboy, NJ for the press to see.

Library of Congress


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Holland at dock side at Perth Amboy, New Jersey after her inital trials on March 17, 1898. As a result of those first trials wooden fairings were added fore and aft of the conning tower to help the water flow around that object. These can be seen here. The muzzle door to the Dynamite gun is open. Photo circa late March 1898.

US Navy Photo



The April 20, 1898 Trials


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Photo taken on April 20, 1898. Left to Right are:

Walter Thompson, superintendent of the Raritan Dry Dock
Charles A. Morris, superintending engineer of the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company
John P. Holland, inventor of the submarine
Mr Matthews an investor in the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company
All there to whitness the first real trial run of the subamrine boat Holland VI on Raritan Bay before a Navy Board of Inspection.

US Navy Photo


Charles A. Morris

Morris Family Photo


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The tug George P. Roe approaching the submarine boat Holland for the tow to the diving area for trials before the Navy Board.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland with crew bringing lines from the tug George P. Roe for her tow out into Raritan Bay.

US Navy Photo


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Officials and guests on the tug George P. Roe with the Holland along side heading out into Raritan Bay for diving trials of the submarine boat Holland. The second man from the left looks to be a Mr Matthews, an investor in the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland cast loose from the tug George P. Roe and seen just before her hour long dive.

US Navy Photo


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Holland surfaces after her trial dive that lasted almost an hour in length and ran a looping course of several miles and making a longer dive than the Navy requirements. The Navy was only mildly impressed but around the world other countries were taking notice and making offers to buy the submarine.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland waiting to be picked up by her tow, tug George P. Roe, back to Perth Amboy, NJ. Holland crew members are topside to handle lines. John Holland is the middle figure on the deck wearing his trademark bowler hat.

US Navy Photo



The Erie Basin Haulout


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After her successful trials for the navy on April 20, 1898, Holland was towed to the Erie Basin in the south Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. She arrived there on May 1, 1898. The Holland was dry docked at the Erie Basin yard of the John N. Robbins and Company that operated at the foot of 50th Street. A new experimental propeller and modifications to her steering were made in this twenty-four hour period.

US Navy Photo


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After her successful trials for the navy on April 20, 1898, Holland was towed to the Erie Basin in the south Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. She arrived there on May 1, 1898. The Holland was dry docked at the Erie Basin yard of the John N. Robbins and Company that operated at the foot of 50th Street. A new experimental propeller and modifications to her steering were made in this twenty-four hour period.

US Navy Photo


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After her successful trials for the navy on April 20, 1898, Holland was towed to the Erie Basin in the south Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. She arrived there on May 1, 1898. The Holland was dry docked at the Erie Basin yard of the John N. Robbins and Company that operated at the foot of 50th Street. A new experimental propeller and modifications to her steering were made in this twenty-four hour period.

US Navy Photo


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After her successful trials for the navy on April 20, 1898, Holland was towed to the Erie Basin in the south Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. She arrived there on May 1, 1898. The Holland was dry docked at the Erie Basin yard of the John N. Robbins and Company that operated at the foot of 50th Street. A new experimental propeller and modifications to her steering were made in this twenty-four hour period.

US Navy Photo



The Atlantic Yacht Basin Haulout


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In September 1898 the Holland was hauled out at the Atlantic Basin shipyard and extensive work was done. A new smaller propeller was installed, and fresh paint job and the torpedo tube was re-bored. She was ready for further testing by November 4, 1898. On the 12th of November fresh trials began. This was the first time John Holland did not handle the submarine himself.

US Navy Photo



Morris Heights Haulout


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After some disputes with the Navy over the handling of the submarine Holland reluctantly agreed to redesign the rudder/planes and propeller locations. It was argued that placing the propeller forward of the planes would help the inexperienced crews handling of the sub easier. The submarine was towed to the Gas Engine and Power Company yards at Morris Heights on the Harlem River for these modifications. In this photo the modifications have been completed.

US Navy Photo


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After some disputes with the Navy over the handling of the submarine Holland reluctantly agreed to redesign the rudder/planes and propeller locations. It was argued that placing the propeller forward of the planes would help the inexperienced crews handling of the sub easier. The submarine was towed to the Gas Engine and Power Company yards at Morris Heights on the Harlem River for these modifications. In this photo the modifications have been completed.

US Navy Photo


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Shown here working on the Holland overhaul is William F. C. Nindermann. He was a John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company employee. He appears to be working on some interior piping for the submarine. The photo was taken at the Gas Engine and Power Company yard at Morris Heights on the Harlem River.

US Navy Photo



The Greenport Trials


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The Holland, under tow by the lighter Columbia, is towed across Gardiners Bay, Long Island, New York, on her way to New Suffolk, Long Island for her summer trial before a new Naval Board of Inspection. The Holland was based at the leased Goldsmith and Tuthill Yard in New Suffolk, home to the relocated Electric Boat Company offices and to become the first submarine base.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland heading out on Little Peconic bay for trial runs. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys. These photos were taken on an early July 1899 running of that course.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland begining her trial run on Little Peconic Bay. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland begining her trial run on Little Peconic Bay. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland begining her trial run on Little Peconic Bay. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland making her dive on the measured course on Little Peconic Bay. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland making her dive on the measured course on Little Peconic Bay. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland making her dive on the measured course on Little Peconic Bay. The course was layed out in a North South direction parallel to Little Hog Neck and marked by flagged buoys.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland heading home to New Suffolk, Long Island from Little Peconic Bay from her trial runs, early July 1899.

US Navy Photo


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The Holland heading home to New Suffolk, Long Island from Little Peconic Bay from her trial runs early July 1899.

US Navy Photo



The Navy Days


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The USS Holland is seen here sometime shortly after her commissioning in the US Navy on October 12, 1900. Her commissioning pennant is flying from her center or "main mast". She also has the decks that John Holland so detested. He felt there was no need for them except for officers to strut upon. The muzzle cap for her forward dynamite gun is pointing to the camera.

US Navy Photo


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USS Holland tied to a pier, most likely at the base at New Suffolk, Long Island. Several crew are on the pier. The second man from the left apears to be Chief of the Boat, William H. Reader, Chief Gunner's mate. The other man is unknown. Moored on the other side of the pier is a motor torpedo boat. On her stern, just below her name plaque is the opening for her after dynamite gun that was removed prior to acceptance by the Navy. A hand hold has been placed over the opening.

US Navy Photo


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USS Holland underway, based on the background formation, on what seems to be Little Peconic Bay, Long Island, near New Suffolk. Several men are topside and the head of the man steering is just seen sticking through the hatch. She is seen towing a skiff that is seen in some other photos. Her Commissioning Pennant is fly from her foremast and there seems to be a ventilator over the engine area to help air flow to the engine. The two "poles" seen attached to the masts are not booms but boat hooks to assist in coming along side docks and other vessels.

US Navy Photo


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In the center of the picture is Lt. Harry H. Caldwell, Commanding Officer. Starting at the lower left of the picture and going clockwise are;
William H. Reader, Chief Gunner's mate;
Augustus Gumpert,Gunner's mate;
Harry Wahab, Gunner's mate First Class;
O. Swanson, Gunner's mate First Class;
Gunner,
Owen Hill;
W. Hall, Electrician's mate Second Class;
Arthur Callahan, Gunner's mate Second Class;
Barnett Bowie, Chief Machinist's Mate.

US Navy Photo

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First Submarine C.O.B. (Chief Of The Boat) Photo taken at the same time as the one above.
In the center of the picture is William H. Reader, Chief Gunner's mate and first Submarine C.O.B.; Starting at the lower left of the picture and going clockwise are;
Barnett Bowie, Chief Machinist's Mate.
Augustus Gumpert, Gunner's mate;
Harry Wahab, Gunner's mate First Class;
O. Swanson, Gunner's mate First Class;
W. Hall, Electrician's mate Second Class;
Arthur Callahan, Gunner's mate Second Class;


US Navy Photo

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The Holland entering the dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, October 1901. She is sharing the dry dock with the Russian Battleship Retzvian. Retzvian had been built for the Tzars Navy by the United States. Retzvian was sunk at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War.

US Navy Photo


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Close up of the Holland and crew as she enters the dry dock at New York Navy Yard, October 1901.

US Navy Photo


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Holland and Russian Battleship Retzvian in dry dock, New York Navy Yard, October 1901. The dry dock is being pumped down and the Holland crew are getting ready to begin scrubbing the bottom in preperation for painting.

US Navy Photo


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Holland and Russian Battleship Retzvian in dry dock, New York Navy Yard, October 1901. The dry dock is being pumped down and the Holland crew are getting ready to begin scrubbing the bottom in preperation for painting. Commanding Officer, Lt Harry Caldwell, is at the stern talking to the crew. Chief Gunner, Owen Hill is walking forward on the port side.

US Navy Photo


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Holland and Russian Battleship Retzvian in dry dock, New York Navy Yard, October 1901. The dry dock is being pumped down and the Holland crew are getting ready to begin scrubbing the bottom in preperation for painting. Commanding Officer, Lt Harry Caldwell, is at the stern talking to the crew. Chief Gunner, Owen Hill is walking forward on the port side.

US Navy Photo


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Holland and Russian Battleship Retzvian in dry dock, New York Navy Yard, October 1901. The dry dock had been completely pumped down and the Holland crew are scrubbing the bottom in preperation for painting. Note on the bow of the Retzvian, just above the dark paint, the cap for a bow torpedo tube. Quite common feature for that era of ships.

US Navy Photo


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Another view of the Holland in dry dock, New York Navy Yard, October 1901. The dry dock had been completely pumped down and the Holland crew are working at various tasks. The torpedo tube outteer door is open. Note the shadow of the bow of the Russian Battleship Retzvian on the extreme left of the photo. An unidentified sailor is in dress blues and flat hat on deck and an officer is standing on the float at the bottom of the photo. He could be Warrant Gunner Owen Hill or maybe even Lt Harry Caldwell, the photo is not clear enough to tell.

US Navy Photo


The USS Holland shown here at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1901. USS Columbia (Cruiser # 12) is partially visible in the background. The Columbia was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Philadelphia Navy Yard March 31, 1899 and recommissioned on August 31, 1902.

US Navy Photo


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At the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, circa 1901-1902, with several midshipmen on board. Among the midshipmen are, as identified from names on their uniforms:
Naval Cadet Henry G.S. Wallace (entering conning tower);
Naval Cadet John W. Woodruff (behind Wallace);
Naval Cadet John. H. Blackburn (by the mast); and
Naval Cadet William J. Moses (in front of the flag).
The officer standing by the conning tower is probably Holland's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Harry H. Caldwell. Note Holland's bell mounted on her foremast, commissioning pennant flying from the top of her mainmast, outriggers fixed along her deck edge for decking that has been removed and the bow of the converted yacht Gloucester in the right background.

US Navy Photo and captioning


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Partially submerged off the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, in the summer of 1901. Maybe with cadets aboard as riders. Note the submarine's 13-star "boat" flag, signal mast fitted amidships and commissioning pennant. A monitor is in the left background.

US Navy Photo


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USS Holland crew posing for a portrait while stationed at the Naval Academy circa 1901/02. Two monitors are anchored in the background, a steam launch is moored alongside as a comparison for size.

US Navy Photo


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Close-up of USS Holland crew at the US Naval Academy circa 1901/02. At least two members of this crew were alive in 1947, Harry Wahab and Richad O. Williams.

US Navy Photo


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Harry Wahab and Richad O. Williams, two of Holland's original crewmen, seen here on April 11, 1947. They stand by a model of USS Holland, the Navy's first submarine, which had been accepted for service 47 years previously.

US Navy Photo


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"Submarine Day" at the U.S. Naval Academy, 11 April 1947. Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Chief of Naval Operations,(right) and two members of the original crews of USS Holland, Harry Wahab and Richard O. Williams. The Holland was the Navy's first commissioned submarine, which had been accepted for service 47 years previously.

US Navy Photo



The End Has Come


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The stripped out hulk of the former USS Holland sits high in the water. Decommissioned on November 21, 1910 she was sold for scrap on June 18, 1913. On board, from left to right, it is believed the men are Richard O. Williams, Harry Wahab and Charles A. Morris, John Hollands Supervising Engineer for the construction of the Holland. The other men are believed to be workmen. Interesting to note that by 1915 the Holland was thought to have been Hollands 9th submarine not the 6th. She sat on dry land in Patterson, NJ until 1932 before going to the scrappers.

From an Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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Newspaper story using the above photo. The caption contains errors in describing the submarine like the muzzle of the Dynamite gun being called the torpedo tube. The single torpedo tube can be seen on the end of the bow capped off by a plate. The tube and outer door having been removed when the submarine was decommissioned. The caption also talks about other subs not seen in the clipping. The train on the dock behind had been blanked out.

New-York Tribune/Library of Congress image


Stripped out hulk of the former USS Holland awaits the end. The remnants of the after dynamite housing can be seen. The gun was removed before final Navy acceptance trials.

Evening Public Ledger.(Philadelphia)/Library of Congress image


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Holland hauled out to be placed on a rail car for transport. June 1915

Image Contributed by Gary McCue


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Holland hauled out and being placed on it blocks for transport by rail car. June 1915. Workmen are inspecting the positioning of the Holland to ensure it is properly placed for transport.

Image Contributed by Gary McCue


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Holland hauled out and placed on a rail car for transport. June 1915

Iron County Record,(Cedar City, Utah)/Library of Congress image


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This is the actual photo used in the Newspaper story seen above. The Holland has just been hauled out of the water for the last time and place on a rail car. The man highest on the hull is unidentified as are all others with the exception of Harry Wahab who is seated in the center foreground of the grouping. The small boy could belong to any of the men shown here. The signs pasted to the hull are unreadable.

Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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This is a close-up from the above photo. The man highest on the hull is unidentified as are all others with the exception of Harry Wahab who is seated in the center foreground of the grouping. The small boy could belong to any of the men shown here. The sign pasted to the hull is unreadable.

Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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The Holland in Philadelphia at what is today the University of Pennsylvania Museum across the street from Franklin Field. The submarine is sitting on what today is part of museum building. It appears from this photo that South Street was at one time closer to the museum building than it is today.

Photo Contributed by Gary McCue


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Holland on display, according to the caption, in Philadelphia at the Commercial Museum.

There is a platform built at the front of the submarine so visitors can look inside the sub through the torpedo tube opening. The tube and outer door had been removed by the Navy at decommissioning.

Above the torpedo tube opening is the muzzle of the forward dynamite gun. The gun was removed during the vessels lifetime. The after gun was removed prior to commissioning as it took up too much needed space over the engine. The shafts for operating the outer doors are seen between the two openings. These operated worm gears and were covered by a surrounding superstructure that has been removed in the dismantling process. A cloth skirting covers the supporting structure, possibly a wheeled carriage.

Photo Contributed by Gary McCue


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In August of 1916 she was privately purchased by a Dr. Peter J Gibbons and his son for $350.00 to be used for display and possibly placed in a museum. Here in this October 17, 1916 photo and newspaper story, "OLD SUBMARINE PROVES A HARMLESS TOY FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN" Children of the McCall School paid a visit to the submarine Holland (SS-01), the first sub-sea craft in the United States Navy. The Holland is reposing, like a stranded amphibian, in the empty lots opposite Franklin Field before it goes to the Irish bazaar, in New York.

Evening Public Ledger.(Philadelphia)/Library of Congress image


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May, 25, 1917 the Holland is lifted from a barge on its way to the Bronx International Exposition.

New-York Tribune/Library of Congress image


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May, 25, 1917 the Holland is lifted from a barge on its way to the Bronx International Exposition. The bridge in the background is the Willis Avenue Bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx and is still there looking almost the same. Bronx being to the right in this photo. The pier is located at 125th Street and the Harlem River. The group in uniform is a contingent of the Junior Naval Reserve and is there as an honor guard.

Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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May, 25, 1917 the Holland is lifted from a barge on its way to the Bronx International Exposition. The bridge in the background is the Willis Avenue Bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx and is still there looking almost the same. Bronx being to the right in this photo. The pier is located at 125th Street and the Harlem River. The group in uniform is a contingent of the Junior Naval Reserve and is there as an honor guard.

Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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May, 25, 1917 the Holland is lifted from a barge on its way to the Bronx International Exposition. Sign reads:"Old Holland #9; Daddy Of All Submarines; (unreadable words); Bronx International Exposition Grounds; 177st Subway Station & Bronx River". Again, the misunderstanding about what build number the Holland was. The Holland was Hull #6 not #9 in his building program and was the one the Navy bought. The Holland was to remain at this spot, as a derelict hulk until 1932 purchased by the Harlem Metal Corporation for $100 and cut up for scrap.

Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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