Definitions for david bushnell

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Bushnell, David Bushnell, Father of the Submarine(noun)

    American inventor who in 1775 designed a man-propelled submarine that was ineffectual but subsequently earned him recognition as a submarine pioneer (1742-1824)

Freebase

  1. David Bushnell

    David Bushnell, of Westbrook, Connecticut, was an American inventor and a veteran of the Revolutionary War. He is credited with creating the first submarine ever used in combat, while studying at Yale College in 1775. He called it the Turtle because of its look in the water. His idea of using water as ballast for submerging and raising his submarine is still in use today, as is the screw propeller, which was used in the Turtle. While at Yale, Bushnell proved that gunpowder could be exploded under water. He also made the first time bomb. He combined these ideas by building the Turtle which was designed to attack ships by attaching a time bomb to their hulls, while using a hand powered drill and ship auger bit to penetrate the hulls. He used the Turtle in attempts to attack British ships which were blockading New York Harbor in the summer of 1776. His efforts failed every time because the Turtle's boring device was unable to penetrate the copper sheeting lining in the ships' hulls which was designed to protect against parasites in their previous station, the Caribbean. The Turtle eventually sank when it was trying to retreat from British observation, yet a Bushnell family member as sole commander, bailed out and survived.

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