Raising the Hunley

     On February 17th, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the first successful combat submarine in world history with the sinking of the USS Housatonic. After completing her mission, she mysteriously vanished and remained lost at sea for over a century. For decades, adventurers searched for the legendary submarine.  Over a century later, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), led by New York Times-bestselling author Clive Cussler, finally found the Hunley in 1995. News of the discovery traveled quickly around the world. A ground breaking effort began to retrieve the fragile submarine from the sea.

    The submarine was named after her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley; but her origins were due to group of private citizens in New Orleans, including James McClintock, Baxter Watson and Horace Hunley, who together financed and designed a submersible torpedo boat. The 'Hunley' was actually their third attempt for a working design.  This is not the first submarine to have ever been built however.   The world’s first working prototype was built in the 17th century by Cornelius Drebbel, a Dutch polymath and inventor employed by the British King James I. Drebbel’s sub was probably a modified rowboat coated in greased leather and manned by a team of oarsmen. 
 The first military submarine was the Turtle in 1776. During the American Revolutionary War, the Turtle (operated by Sgt. Ezra Lee of the Continental Army tried and failed to sink a British warship, the HMS Eagle  in New York harbor on September 7, 1776. 
 Raising the Hunley (YouTube.com)
     Listed below you will find several videos and articles describing the design of the Hunley.  Students will be asked to research man's attempts to build the first operational submarine beginning with the Dutch inventor and mathematician Cornelius Drebbel in 1624.  Students may be wondering how such large objects made from steel are able to float can find out more by clicking on the link "BRAINPOP".
 The History of Early Submarine Design  
     Students will be asked to construct a timeline that illustrates the evolution of early submarine design going all the way back to the first operational sub in the year 1620.  Students will be asked to select their favorite design and draw a realistic and historically accurate picture of their choice of submarine.  Finally, students will be asked to write a one half page essay describing their choice using their own words.  Essays should include physical features of the sub and what improvements were made over the previous sub design.
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