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Thread: steam-powered submarine

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    Jon is online now Jon has agreed the Seller's Terms of Service
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    steam-powered submarine

    The Ictineo II was the world's first combustion-powered submarine, launched in 1864 and built by the Spanish engineer Narcís Monturiol. She was 46 feet long, and built of olive wood and oak, with a 2mm thick layer of copper. Here's a recreation:

    Ictineo II was an improved version of the human-powered Ictineo I, which was built for safely harvesting coral. Dissatisfied with human propulsion, Monturiol invented an air-independent steam engine. The steam engine boiler was heated by a reaction of zinc, manganese, and potassium chlorate. This reaction also provided oxygen. The Ictineo II could remain submerged for seven hours. Design:

    The Ictineo II was actually crowdfunded, 145 years before the invention of Kickstarter. Monturiol raised 300,000 pesetas from the citizens of Spain and Cuba.

    The company that Monturiol had founded to create Ictineo II eventually went bankrupt, and Monturiol was forced to surrender the Ictineo II to his creditors, who dismantled it and sold it for scrap.

    Modelers may be able to find versions of the Ictineo II available online. Here's one example, from

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    Beautiful and the model is superb!! That chemical steam engine is fascinating but Potassium chlorate can be pretty unstable...definitely a non smoking vessel. Thanks Jon this is an amazing post! ~PJ
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
    Mark Twain

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    Very interesting!!

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    It is fascinating! The model is certainly beautiful. It is amazing the things they managed to do "back in the day". Does not look like there is much room for crew. I am wondering how they managed to harvest the coral?

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