Cornelius Drebbel

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Scientific Biographies

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Cornelius Drebbel

Cornelius Drebbel:Cornelius Jacobszoon Drebbel was born in 1572 in Alkmaar, Holland. He had a very basic education. He went to the Haarlem Academy in North-Holland in 1590. Drebbel married Sophia Jansdochter Goltzuis and had four children. He and his family moved to England in 1604 at the invite of King James I of England. He was an inventor and innovator that worked for the British Navy. Drebbel contributed to the development of measurement, control systems, optics, and chemistry. He also built the first submarine. There is a small lunar creator named after him. Drebbel died on November 7th, 1633 in London. Cornelius Drebbel was a great man who did great things.

When and Where:Cornelius Drebbel built his submarines from 1620-1624. He made them in England. He tested them on the Thames River, also in England. William Bourne told the idea of the submarine to Drebbel in 1580. The first submarine was built in 1620 and the idea came in 1580.

Cornelius Drebbel

Cornelius Drebbel

The Submarine:Cornelius Drebbel is best known for the making of the first submarine. Using William Bourne’s design, he built the first submarine is 1620. Bourne’s design was based on a rowing boat that had all of its sides meeting. He had three models, each bigger than the last. In 1624, he made his final model. This model could stay submerged for three hours, and could go from 12-15 ft. deep. It could also carry twelve oarsmen and sixteen passengers. He tested all of his models in the Thames River in England, which is where he built these models. Cornelius Drebbel’s submarine was a great invention and that is what he is best known for.

How was the Submarine built:Drebbel’s submarine was built like a rowing boat with all of the sides meeting, making it a closed object. He used oarsmen to power the submarine. He built in a rudder as well. To keep water out, Drebbel put pigskin bladders under the seats. These bladders absorbed the water and when the crew sat down, they would squeeze the water out. The first submarine was built in a very interesting way.

<--- William Bourne(Gave idea of submarine in 1580)

The first submarine(1620) --->

By: Ian


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