The Pacific Pearl Company was incorporated in the American state of New York on November 18, 1863. Principal officers included John Chadwick as President, George Wrightson as Treasurer, and Julius H. Kroehl as Chief Engineer. Other shareholders included William Henry Tiffany, Charles D. Poston and William M.B. Hartley. The company was a venture to harvest pearls and pearl shells in the Pacific Ocean. The first site chosen was Panama, in particular the Pearl Islands. After Kroehl recovered sufficiently from malaria he contracted while serving the Union Navy during the Vicksburg Campaign, he began designing and building a vessel at Ariel Patterson's Shipyard near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Also being built nearby was the Intelligent Whale under the direction of Scovel S. Merriam. There were many companies active in submarine salvage at this time.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.
Julius Hermann Kroehl was a German American inventor and engineer. He invented and built the first submarine able to dive and resurface on its own, the Sub Marine Explorer, technically advanced for its era. His achievements in architecture, civil and mechanical engineering were also significant.
Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.
The vessel Kroehl built was later known as Sub Marine Explorer. It operated as a diving bell, but was autonomous as a submarine propeller. It held its fourth test dive on May 31, 1866, receiving notice in many newspapers.
Sub Marine Explorer is a submersible built between 1863 and 1866 by Julius H. Kroehl and Ariel Patterson in Brooklyn, New York for the Pacific Pearl Company. It was hand powered and had an interconnected system of a high-pressure air chamber or compartment, a pressurized working chamber for the crew, and water ballast tanks. Problems with decompression sickness and overfishing of the pearl beds led to the abandonment of Sub Marine Explorer in Panama in 1869 despite publicized plans to shift the craft to the pearl beds of Baja California.
In August 1866, the Company held a meeting to raise funds by selling stock. At this time, Mark Brumagim became president of the company. But the submarine was not dispatched to Panama until December 1866. Whether this was due to insufficient funds, the political situation in Panama, or technical problems with the vessel is unknown at this time.
After arriving at Aspinwall, the vessel was transported via railroad to the city of Panama. It was reassembled, tested, and then shipped to the island of St. Elmo (San Telmo). During a test run around the island, the submarine while skimming the bottom at 30 feet, went over a submarine cliff going down to 75 feet. However, the relative lightness was no problem, and the crew managed to make it back to the surface unscathed.
Colón is a city and sea port in Panama, beside the Caribbean Sea, lying near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. It is the capital of Panama's Colón Province and has traditionally been known as Panama's second city. Originally it was located entirely on Manzanillo Island, surrounded by Limon Bay, Manzanillo Bay and the Folks River; however, since the disestablishment of the Panama Canal Zone, the city's limits have been redefined to include Fort Gulick, a former U.S. Army base, as well the former Canal Zone towns of Cristobal, Margarita and Coco Solo.
Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama. It has an urban population of 880,691, with over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. The city is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of Panama. The city is the political and administrative center of the country, as well as a hub for banking and commerce.
Harvesting continued through the summer, resulting in thousands of pounds of pearl shells and many pearls. As the crew was staying in Panama to return the season's harvest, Kroehl had a fatal recurrence of malaria. He died on 9 September 1867. With no funds to continue harvesting, and without Kroehl's leadership, the crew returned to the New York.
The Company continued to retell the story of the success of the harvest in 1868, and later in 1870. But one newspaper account in 1868 noted that the submarine lay derelict for a year and that Kroehl was dead (Philadelphia Inquirer, p. 2, 24 August 1868).
"What has become of the Pacific Pearl Company? Their little submarine boat, which cost one way or another nearly one hundred thousand dollars, has been lying neglected on the sand beach at one of the islands in the Bay of Panama for almost a year past. When its unfortunate builder, Mr. Kroehl, was alive there was a fair prospect of its being a success if funds had been supplied to him to work it, but now it looks as if the boat were entirely abandoned, or if it is not it will very soon, if not already, prove entirely useless."
In 1869, the company resumed its work, with Henry A. Dingee in charge of the operation. In September of that year, the company reported a harvest of pearls and pearl shells. But many workers became ill and died while working the submarine, probably from the effects of decompression sickness.
Decompression sickness describes a condition arising from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurisation. DCS most commonly refers to problems arising from underwater diving decompression, but may be experienced in other depressurisation events such as emerging from a caisson, flying in an unpressurised aircraft at altitude, and extravehicular activity from spacecraft. DCS and arterial gas embolism are collectively referred to as decompression illness.
There was interest to harvest pearls in Baja California using the Sub Marine Explorer, and that the "Engineer" was scouting a position. However, the Company recorded no further accomplishments. On April 2, 1924, the Company was involuntarily dissolved.
There are two other companies that operated at different times with the same name, but have no relation with this company. One was a British company which was active around the 1820s and undertook a commercial expedition to New South Wales, Australia. The other was a Japanese company active during the second half of the 20th Century.
The Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINSY) was the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean. It is located 25 miles northeast of San Francisco in Vallejo, California. The Napa River goes through the Mare Island Strait and separates the peninsula shipyard from the main portion of the city of Vallejo. MINSY made a name for itself as the premier US West Coast submarine port as well as serving as the controlling force in San Francisco Bay Area shipbuilding efforts during World War II. The base closed in 1996 and has gone through several redevelopment phases. It was registered as a California Historical Landmark in 1960, and parts of it were declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1975.
The Type A Ko-hyoteki class was a class of Japanese midget submarines (Ko-hyoteki) used during World War II. They had hull numbers but no names. For simplicity, they are most often referred to by the hull number of the mother submarine. Thus, the midget carried by I-16-class submarine was known as I-16's boat, or "I-16tou."
USS Tang (SS/AGSS-563), the lead ship of her class was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tang.
USS Sculpin (SSN-590), a Skipjack-class nuclear-powered submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sculpin.
USS Skipjack (SS-184), a Salmon-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after the fish. Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut, on 22 July 1936. She was launched on 23 October 1937 sponsored by Miss Frances Cuthbert Van Keuren, daughter of Captain Alexander H. Van Keuren, Superintending Constructor, New York Navy Yard. The boat was commissioned on 30 June 1938 with Lieutenant Herman Sall in command. She earned multiple battle stars during World War II and then was sunk, remarkably, by an atomic bomb during post-war testing. Among the most "thoroughly sunk" ships, she was refloated and then sunk a second time as a target ship two years later.
USS Tautog (SSN-639), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Tautog, a wrasse commonly found along the Northern Atlantic coast. The submarine was in service from 17 August 1968 to 31 March 1997.
USS Boarfish (SS-327), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the boarfish, a fish having a projecting hog-like snout.
USS Sea Robin (SS-407), a Balao-class submarine, was a vessel of the United States Navy named for the sea robin. This is a spiny-finned fish with red or brown coloring on its body and fins. The first three rays of its pectoral fin separate from the others and are used in walking on the sea bottom.
USS H-2 (SS-29) was a H-class submarine. She was originally named Nautilus, the third ship and first submarine of the United States Navy to bear the name, which was derived from a Greek word meaning "sailor" or "ship." The nautilus is also a tropical mollusk having a many-chambered, spiral shell with a pearly interior. It was also the name of the fictional submarine in Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which was prophetic of submarine technology.
Beginning in ancient times, mankind sought to operate under the water. From simple submersibles to nuclear-powered underwater behemoths, humans have searched for a means to remain safely underwater to gain the advantage in warfare, resulting in the development of the submarine.
Pearling in Western Australia existed well before European settlement. Coastal dwelling Aborigines had collected and traded pearl shell as well as trepang and tortoise with fisherman from Sulawesi for possibly hundreds of years. After settlement the Aborigines were used as slave labour in the emerging commercial industry. Pearling centred first around Nickol Bay and Exmouth Gulf and then around Broome to become the largest in the world by 1910. The farming of cultured pearls remains an important part of the Kimberley economy, worth $67 million in 2014 and is the second largest fisheries industry in WA after rock lobster.
USS Sperry (AS-12) was a Fulton-class submarine tender in the United States Navy. She was named for Elmer Sperry.
Aluminaut was the world's first aluminium submarine. An experimental vessel, the 80-ton, 15.5-metre (51 ft) manned deep-ocean research submersible was built by Reynolds Metals Company, which was seeking to promote the utility of aluminium. Aluminaut was based in Miami, Florida, and was operated from 1964 to 1970 by Reynolds Submarine Services, doing contract work for the U.S. Navy and other organizations, including marine biologist Jacques Cousteau.
The first USS Pigeon (AM-47/ASR-6) was a Lapwing-class minesweeper of the United States Navy. She was later converted to a submarine rescue ship. She was named for the avian ambassador, the pigeon.
The first USS Ortolan was a Lapwing-class minesweeper in the United States Navy. She was later converted to a submarine rescue ship. She was named after the ortolan, a European bunting.
USS Beaver (AS-5) was a submarine tender which served in the United States Navy from 1918 to 1946.
Johnston and Palmyra are two US-controlled atolls located in the Pacific Ocean. Johnston had been claimed for the US in 1858, Palmyra in 1859; both under the Guano Islands Act. Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese navy forces attacked Allied possessions across the Pacific, including Johnston and Palmyra.
Isla San Telmo is located in the southeast area of the Pearl Islands in Panama. It is the first landsighting when sailing to the port of Panama. The Reserva Natural Isla San Telmo was established in 1996 as a protection measure for the island; marine turtles are noted on the beaches, endemic birds and animals are found in the premontane forest, and the island waters are a whale breeding area.