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Intelligent Whale at the Navy Museum, Washington Navy Yard
|Displacement:||4,000 lb (1,800 kg)|
|Length:||28 ft 8 in (8.74 m)|
|Beam:||7 ft (2.1 m)|
|Draft:||9 ft (2.7 m)|
|Speed:||4 knots (4.6 mph; 7.4 km/h)|
|Complement:||6 to 13 officers and men|
|Armament:||Hatch for diver|
Intelligent Whale, an experimental hand-cranked submarine, was built on the design of Scovel Sturgis Merriam in 1863 by Augustus Price and Cornelius Scranton Bushnell. In 1864 the American Submarine Company was formed, taking over the interests of Bushnell and Price and there followed years of litigation over the ownership of the craft. When title was established by a court the submarine was sold on 29 October 1869 through a contract made by owner Oliver Halstead and Secretary of the Navy George M. Robeson to the United States Navy Department, with most of the price to be paid after successful trials. In September 1872 the first trial was held and was unsuccessful, whereupon the Department refused further payments and abandoned the project.
Intelligent Whale submerged by filling water compartments, and expelled the water by pumps and compressed air. It was estimated that it could stay submerged for about ten hours. Thirteen crewmen could be accommodated, but only six were needed to make her operational. The only known trial, reported by submarine pioneer John Philip Holland, was made by a certain General Sweeney and two others. They submerged the boat in 16 feet of water and Sweeney, clad in a diver's suit, emerged through a hole in the bottom, placed a charge under a scow, and reentered the submarine. The charge was exploded by a lanyard and a friction primer attached to the charge, sinking the scow.
- Intelligent Whale Submarine Today Photos of the Intelligent Whale at the Militia Museum of New Jersey in Sea Girt, NJ