“Highly recommended to American History shelves and anyone who would want to learn more about this enigmatic figure of American History.”
—Midwest Book Review
It is commonly believed that the submarine was first used in battle during the Civil War. However, America’s best-kept secret during the Revolutionary War was bobbing above the surface in New York Harbor the night of September 6, 1776. The craft was a dream of “Yankee tinkerer” David Bushnell, a recent Yale graduate in his mid-thirties who had studied math and science. He built the world’s first submarine in a shed behind his house.
Although there were no engines, electric motors, or steam engines at the time of the American Revolution, Bushnell responded to a desperate situation. Britain’s navy, the most impressive in the world, was trying to capture New York Harbor and the colonists had virtually no sea power at all. The resulting Turtle, named for its appearance, moved at three miles an hour, held only thirty minutes of air while underwater, and was complicated to operate. This inventive genius can be ranked with the likes Benjamin Franklin, Eli Whitney, and Robert Fulton.