Lake Torpedo Boat

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The Lake Torpedo Boat Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut was an early builder of submarines for the United States Navy. Founded by Simon Lake in 1912, the firm competed with John Philip Holland's Electric Boat Company until financial difficulties led to the company's demise in 1924. The Navy ceased awarding contracts to Lake shortly before that time, partly because USS S-2 (SS-106), the company's entry in the S-class submarine design competition, was not selected for further production. Only five S-boats were built by Lake.[1] Also, the yard was not physically able to build the large submarine cruisers then envisioned, such as USS Argonaut (SM-1).[2] The Washington Naval Treaty's limits on submarines were also a major factor. At the time, the Navy wished to concentrate submarine construction at Navy Yards, particularly Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine.[3] The company completed 26 submarines for the US Navy, designed two US Navy submarines that were built in other yards, and built several other submarines for civilian use or that were not accepted by the Navy. Some of the submarines built by Lake for the Navy included several L-class, O-class, and R-class submarines. The company designed the Imperial Russian Navy's Osetr-class submarines, the first of which was Lake's Protector. The Kaiman-class submarines were also designed for Russia.


  1. ^ Gardiner, pp. 130-131
  2. ^ Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 133, 343. ISBN 1-55750-263-3. 
  3. ^ The Demise of the Lake Torpedo Boat Company (from Weir)
  • Gardiner, Robert, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921, pp. 130-131, Conway Maritime Press, 1985. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.

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