dirk • Link
References on the web:
Who was Cornelis J. Drebbel?
Cornelius Drebbel - inventor of the submarine
XII, 1655 Reference to Kuffler in Robert Boyle's work diaries
JWB • Link
"In a very curious little book"
Drebbel's image # 5: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/elthampalace...
There are a lot of very detailed descriptions of the "Drebbel submarine" in the sites above and others, there even is a book about the subject from an american computer expert....and there have been replica projects, but one fails to find any sources for the submarine story other than very vague ones. The more detailed ones seem to contain a lot of wishful thinking: what if.
It is true that Drebbel in his experiments could produce oxygen, but one fails to see how this could be used in any practical way in a 17th century underwater rowing boat type vessel.
Diving bells of some sort had been used around that time. A semi submerged rowing boat seems to be much more useful in a military sense.
An interesting development is the theory that this painting by Van Dyck could be a Drebbel portrait: the two were at the same place at the same time, the beard is right and the is a lot of Scarlet dye in the picture.
DREBBEL, CORNELIS (1678-1634), philosopher and scientific inventor; born at Alkmaar; invented machine for producing perpetual motion, which he presented to his patron, James I; visited the court of Rudolph II; imprisoned on the capture of Prague by the elector palatine, 1620; released at James I's intercession; sent in charge of fireships on the Rochelle expedition, 1627; credited with invention of telescope, microscope, and thermometer; author of a Dutch work on the 'Nature of the Elements,' 1608.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.