John Phillip Holland
Born February 29, 1840 – August 12, 1914
Submergible Torpedo Boat
Patent #: 472,670
John Phillip Holland was known for his contributions to the invention of
submarines and submarine components, many of which found their way into the
designs used by the United States Navy.
Born in Liscannor, Ireland, Holland moved to the U.S. to build submergible boats, developing several functional submarine prototypes over the course of the latter half of the 19th century. His most significant advancements included the Holland I in 1878, a two-and-a half meter, one-person submersible and the Fenian Ram, a thirty-one foot long vessel. Founding the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company, he designed and manufactured submersible prototypes that were meant to spark the interest of the U.S. Navy. He would win eventual success with an improved Holland I design, a 53.3 foot long, six-person submersible that could remain under water for forty hours.