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1st submarine publicly tested in London on the Thames (1624)

1st submarine publicly tested in London on the Thames (1624)

On September 12, 1624 the banks of the Thames were crowded with 3,000 spectators. Even King James I stood in observation! Everyone was craning their necks for a glimpse of the first submarine – a steerable, pigskin-covered wooden frame that was capable of carrying 16 passengers. Six oars propelled the watercraft forward. The submarine could stay submerged for up to 3 hours, at a maximum depth of 12 to 15 feet. During the first demonstration of his submarine, King James went for a ride.

Activity Ideas:

  • Get in the submarine spirit with “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles – here
  • Find out how submarines work – here
  • Or test out your deep ocean knowledge with our Ocean deep quiz – here
  • Try our Spectacular Submarines activity – here