A Boy-Powered Submarine (Jan, 1932)
A Boy-Powered Submarine
By DEE ENGEL
Many of the towns lying along the Platte River are close to sand pits — depressions made when sand is dredged. These fill up with clear water and the sandy sloping bottoms make these various pools ideal for swimming and other water sports. Don Webb lives in Kearney, Nebraska, and of course there is an abundance of these miniature lakes close by; so Don built a sub which is manned by a couple of boys. And to say that they have a lot of fun with it is putting it mildly.
The sub is 10 feet long, has a rudder, submerging fins, a periscope and air vent. The stunt is this; by means of cross bars and it becomes buoyant. Then the fun begins. With a nice supply of air, the boys can paddle about, entirely hidden from outside view. And when they want to submerge, the pilot pushes a wire connected to the rubber-lined cap on the air-pipe; which lets some of the air escape until the weight of the craft and their bodies makes the specific gravity nearly that of the water. Now, by pushing the fin lever (also within reach inside) the sub noses down under water, when the fins are set with the front edges at about a 30-degree angle. The periscope permits them to navigate quite nicely and is also helpful even when under water.