General Dynamics Electric Boat

General Dynamics Electric Boat

General Dynamics/Electric Boat (usually abbreviated as Electric Boat, and referred to as "EB" or "The Boat Company" by its employees), a division of General Dynamics Corporation, has been the primary builder of submarines for the United States Navy for well over 100 years.

The company's main facilities are a shipyard in Groton, Connecticut and a hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

The company was founded in 1899 by Isaac Rice as the Electric Boat Company in order to build to completion John Philip Holland's submersible designs which were developed at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA. The first submarine that this shipyard built was (originally) named the Holland VI, later to be known as USS Holland [SS-1] . This was the first submarine to be purchased and commissioned into United States naval service on 11 April 1900. The success of Holland VI ushered in the demand for follow up models (A-class) that began with the proto-type submersible "Fulton" built at the same shipyard where Holland was conceived. Many foreign governments were soon interested in John Holland's latest submarine designs and began purchasing the rights to build them under licensing contracts thru Isaac Rice's Electric Boat Company. These governments included Great Britain, British Royal Navy; Japan, Imperial Japanese Navy; Russia, Imperial Russian Navy, and other nations to include the Dutch, Royal Netherlands Navy. These new weapons devises that were initially developed by the Holland Torpedo Boat Company were now legitimized as genuine naval weapons by the world's most modern/industrialized nations during the early part of the 1900's. During World War I, the company and its subsidiaries built 85 submarines and 722 submarine chasers for the U.S. Navy. After the war the Navy did not order another submarine until 1934. In World War II, 74 submarines were launched.

The firm renamed itself to General Dynamics Corporation in 1952, and when Convair was acquired the next year, the holding company assumed the "General Dynamics" name, with the submarine building operation retaining the "Electric Boat" name. cite web | url= | title=General Dynamics Corporation | work=U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission | accessdate=2006-03-31 ]

Electric Boat built the first nuclear submarine, USS "Nautilus", which was launched in January of 1954, and the first ballistic-missile submarine, "George Washington", in 1959, amongst others. Submarines of the "Ohio"-, "Los Angeles"-, "Seawolf"- and "Virginia"-class submarines were also constructed by Electric Boat.

In 2002, Electric Boat conducted preservation work on the world's first nuclear powered craft, USS "Nautilus", preparing her for her berth at the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum and Library in Groton, Connecticut, where she now resides as a museum. Electric Boat's first submarine, the USS "Holland" was unfortunately scrapped for one hundred dollars during the Great Depression of the early thirties.

Electric Boat was at a time in the business of performing overhaul and repair work on fast attack class boats. Ships that were already built would return to Electric Boats Graving Docks for needed repairs. Now most of the work done in the ship yard is focused on the new construction of Virginia class submarines.


Further reading

* "The Defender: The Story of General Dynamics", by Roger Franklin. Published by Harper and Row 1986. More accurate version of "just who" actually founded this company.

* "Brotherhood of Arms": General Dynamics and The Business of Defending America, by Jacob Goodwin. Published 1985. Random House.

* "The Legend of Electric Boat, Serving The Silent Service". Published by Write Stuff Syndicate, 1994 and 2007. Written by Jeffery L. Rodengen.

* "International Directory of Company Histories" Volume 86 under General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corporation, July 2007; pp. 136-139. Published by St James Press/Thomson Gale Group.

* "Who Built Those Subs? Naval History Magazine", Oct. 1998 125th Anniversary issue, pp. 31-34. Written by Richard Knowles Morris PhD. Published by The United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md. Copyrighted 1998.

*"The Klaxon", The U.S. Navy's official submarine force newsletter, April 1992. Published by the Nautilus Memorial Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton/New London, CT.

* "The Ups and Downs of Electric Boat" John D. Alden, United States Naval Institute, Proceedings Magazine, July 1, 1999, p.64.

External links

* [] Official site crediting those who played key roles as the company was founded.
* [] Crescent Shipyard is the location where Electric Boat began developing U. S. Navy's first submarines.
* [] Detailed account of first submarines ordered by the United States Navy circa 1900. Electric Boat Company's first submarines were constructed at this time.
* [] Brief history and account of General Dynamics and parent company, Electric Boat.
* [ Official Pentagon/Chief of Naval Operations web site/submarine warfare division/under Submarine Pioneers/John Philip Holland/Arthur Leopold Busch etc. ]
* [] The ironic history of Electric Boat can be found at this site.
* [] Mr. Holland trying to set up operations in Europe after fallout with Isaac Leopold Rice, Electric Boat's first President and CEO.

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