Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Grampus and Pike in Drydock -- July 2, 2014

From the Scientific American Supplement, 18-July-1903.  John P Holland was a pioneering submarine designer.  USS Grampus (SS-4) and Pike (SS-6) were Plunger-class submarines built in San Francisco by the Union Iron Works. Both boats patrolled the Philippines during World War One.

The Submarine Boats "Pike" and "Grampus"

The "Grampus" and “Pike," two submarine boats of the Holland class, built at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Cal., have just passed all the tests to which they were subjected by the Navy Department.

On June 7, 1900, the government authorized the construction of six submarine boats, of which the craft recently finished at San Francisco formed a part. The "Grampus” and “Pike“ are each 63 feet 4 inches in length, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter, and have a displacement, submerged, of 120 tons. When on the surface they are driven by a single-screw, four-cylinder, Otto gasoline engine of 160 horse power. They are provided with a generator of 70 horse power, which may either be driven by the gasoline engine for charging the batteries, or be thrown on to the batteries when the boat is submerged and used as a motor for driving the propeller. Like the rest of the class, the “Grampus" and “Pike" are built with a double bottom, and with three watertight compartments. In the forward compartment are the gasoline tank and the torpedo tubes. The amidship compartment contains the main ballast tanks, which are located in the double-bottom. Above them are the storage batteries, the torpedoes, and the air flasks, in which fresh air for the crew is stored at 2,000 pounds pressure. In the third compartment at the stern are the gasoline engine, motor, the clutches, and the steering gear.

Submersion is effected by trimming tanks assisted by a pair of horizontal driving (should be diving - JT) rudders at the stern.  The vessel is controlled from a conning tower protected with four inches of armor. 

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