Gustave Zédé

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Gustave Zédé
Born15 February 1825
Died26 April 1891(1891-04-26) (aged 66)
OccupationNaval architect

Gustave Zédé was a French naval engineer and pioneering designer of submarines.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Paris in February 1825. After studying at the École Polytechnique in November 1843 he qualified in 1845 as a Marine engineer and went to work at the Brest Naval Dockyard.


By 1863 he was chief engineer in charge of ship-building under the direction of Henri Dupuy de Lôme, and under his leadership Zédé helped design and build Gymnote, the first practicable submarine, which was launched in 1880, In 1877 Zédé had become Director of Naval Construction, but in 1880 he left to be a director of the Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, a shipyard at Toulon.

In 1880 he started planning the construction of Sirene, a larger version of the Gymnote and France's (and one of the world's) earliest commissioned naval submarines. Sirene was ordered by the French Navy in 1890, and launched in 1893. After Zédé's death she was renamed in his honour.

Gustave Zédé died in April 1891, aged 66 years.