U.S. Navy's First Submarine
In 1898 John Philip Holland completed the building of the submarine HOLLAND VI. This was the submarine which was later sold to the United States Navy on April 11, 1900. However, Holland's first submarine plans were rejected by the U.S. Navy in 1875 on the grounds that, "although they were logica in design and operation, no one with any intelligence could be induced to serve on a ship of this nature under the water." Twenty-five years later the U.S. Navy would purchase the submarine boat HOLLAND VI.
Diameter 10 feet 3 inches
In accordance with the Naval Appropriation Act of 7 June 1900, on August 25, 1900, the U.S. Navy contracted with the Holland Torpedo Boat Company for six additional boats. The ADDER (A-3), MOCCASIN (A-4), PORPOISE (A-6) and SHARK (A-7) were built at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey, while the GRAMPUS (A-3) and PIKE (A-5) were contracted to be built at the Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California, becoming the first submarines to be built on the West Coast.
View of USS Holland (SS-1)
The HOLLAND VI was a major breakthrough in submarine design. For the first time, all the major components were present in one vessel - dual propulsion systems, a fixed longitudinal center of gravity, separate main and auxiliary ballast systems, a hydrodynamically advanced shape, and a modern weapons system. On November 23, 1899, the Holland Torpedo Boat Company offered to sell the HOLLAND VI for $165,000 and proposed to build a second boat in accordance with the plan and specifications submitted. The specification described a larger, improved boat that would cost $170,000.
The HOLLAND VI was purchased by the United States Government on April 11, 1900 after more than two years of trials. She was commissioned as the USS HOLLAND on October 12, 1900 and decommissioned ten years later on November 21, 1910. Ten years after she was decommissioned, the US Navy developed numeric designations for its submarines and the USS HOLLAND became known as SS-1.