The company was founded in 1899 by Isaac Rice as the Electric Boat Company to build John Philip Holland's submersible designs, which were developed at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Holland VI was the first submarine that this shipyard built, later renamed USS Holland (SS-1). On 11 April 1900, it became the first modern submarine to be purchased and commissioned into the United States Navy. The success of Holland VI created a demand for follow-up models (A-class or Plunger class) that began with the prototype submersible Fulton built at Electric Boat (EB). Some foreign navies were interested in John Holland's latest submarine designs, and so purchased the rights to build them under licensing contracts through the Electric Boat Company, and these included Great Britain's Royal Navy, Japan's Imperial Japanese Navy, Russia's Imperial Russian Navy, and the Netherlands' Royal Netherlands Navy.
In 1952, Electric Boat was reorganized as General Dynamics Corporation under John Jay Hopkins. General Dynamics acquired Convair the following year, and the holding company assumed the "General Dynamics" name, with the submarine building operation reverting to the "Electric Boat" name.
In 2002, Electric Boat conducted preservation work on the Nautilus, preparing her for her berth at the US Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut, where she now resides as a museum. Electric Boat's first submarine, Holland, was scrapped in 1932.
Electric Boat overhauls and undertakes repair work on fast attack class boats. Electric Boat built the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines and Seawolf-class submarines, as well as others. However, most of the work done in the shipyard today is focused on construction of the Virginia-class, notably the new Block III evolution.
The Defender: The Story of General Dynamics, by Roger Franklin. Published by Harper and Row 1986.
Brotherhood of Arms: General Dynamics and The Business of Defending America, by Jacob Goodwin. Published 1985. Random House.
The Legend of Electric Boat, Serving The Silent Service. Published by Write Stuff Syndicate, 1994 and 2007. Written by Jeffery L. Rodengen.
International Directory of Company Histories Volume 86 under General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corporation, July 2007; pp. 136–139. Published by St James Press/Thomson Gale Group.
Who Built Those Subs? Naval History Magazine, Oct. 1998 125th Anniversary issue, pp. 31–34. Written by Richard Knowles Morris PhD. Published by The United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md. Copyrighted 1998.
The Klaxon, The U.S. Navy's official submarine force newsletter, April 1992. Published by the Nautilus Memorial Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton/New London, CT.
"The Ups and Downs of Electric Boat" John D. Alden, United States Naval Institute, Proceedings Magazine, July 1, 1999, p. 64.
Running Critical: The Silent War, Rickover, and General Dynamics, by Patrick Tyler. Published by Harper & Row 1986.