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Simon Lake Submarines

One of the prime contenders that was competing with John Holland in the U.S. was Simon Lake. One of Lakes'  focuses was on getting submarines to submerge and surface while maintaining an even keel. He felt this was important for submarine safety versus the angles encountered by John Holland's submarine while performing those functions.


A colorized postcard showing the Simon Lake submarine Defender running surfaced. The large fairing aft allowed the sub to cruise with decks awash or just submerged with the engines running. The bursts of spray seen at the waterline fore and aft of the conning tower are the diving planes folded up against the hull. The sub also had a set of stern planes. Lake was a big proponent of level diving and surfacing feeling angles were a danger.



Simon Lake was a prolific submarine builder. He had been designing and building submarines for salvage and diver lockout usage as well as submarine warfare for twenty years prior to this photo. Some of his vessels also had wheels to roll on the bottom. He envisioned his boats to roll on the bottom into areas that had been mined and divers exiting through air locks and cutting the mine cables.


Simon Lake at the con of one of his submarines running partly submerged to show depth control. Note gun turret with rapid fire gun installed, able to be fired from inside the conning tower while partly submerged


 

This is a Lake submarine under construction in Bridgeport, CT. in January 1902. Note the man standing in the torpodo tube door opening.

After construction of the hull Lake built a superstructure to give walking  decks and sea keeping abilities to the vessel. You can see the framework erected the next photo. Two of the superstructure plates are in place. Notice the reverse bow that was becoming a signature of ship design in the last decade of the 19th century and early 20th century. Lake placed his 10 foot long and 14 inch wide hydroplanes with in this superstructure. One set just forward of midships and one set just aft of midships.These helped his vessels rise and submerge on an even keel.

Photo taken Feb 20, 1902. Note snow on ground. By time this picture was taken the conning tower had been secured in place.


A detail of the superstructure framing is shown below.


No specifacations are given for this vessel


Lake's Protector. Note guards at side of vessel
to protect the diving planes from damage.

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An photo taken inside Simon Lake's "Protector". The four upholstered bench seats match drawing made by Lake for the interior layout. Notice the two swinging doors, complete with glass windows, that are open so the view looks into the engine room where two crew are standing. The men are undoubtedly all Lake Torpedo Boat employees.

Between the saloon where the photo is being taken and the engine room is a pantry. There looks to be a ladder on the right side of the pantry that must lead up to the conning tower.

Above the sleeping man is a calendar showing that the photo was taken in the month of January of 1904. Protector was sold to Russia in February 1904 after the out break of the Japanese/Russian War.

Library Of Congress Photo

The calendar above the sleeping man showing that the photo was taken in the month of January of 1904. Protector was sold to Russia in February 1904 after the out break of the Japanese/Russian War. Pretty girls sold calendars in 1904 too!

Library Of Congress Photo

A view through the doors and through the pantry to the engine room. Two crew are standing between the engines. The fly wheel for the starboard engine can be seen curving in in the lower left of the image. The glare in the center is fron a light at the far end of the engine room.

Library Of Congress Photo

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A photo taken inside Simon Lake's "Protector" looking forward. The two torpedo tube doors can be seen high in the compartment opening into the center compartment. Extra torpedoes were kept under the bench seats. The upholstered bench seats match the photo looking aft and the blanket seems to match the one on the bench in the earlier photo. The beveled paneling and the shape of the bench seat ends match as well. Another crewman stands in the forward diver lockout compartment looking back at the camera.

Library Of Congress Photo

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Lines drawing of the interior layout of the Simon Lake "Protector" showing details illustrated in the photo above. A breakdown of the different parts of the vessel is given.

Library Of Congress Image / The Logan Republican, (Logan, Utah)

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