John Phillip Holland, who is known as the father of the modern submarine, was a native of Co Clare Ireland. Holland’s submarine design was initially accepted by the US Navy and later by other navies around the world.
John Phillip Holland was born in Liscannor, County Clare on February 29th 1840. His father was a coastal patrolman with the British Coastguard Service. Holland grew up speaking Irish and only learned English at his local national school in Liscannor. Having completed primary education he attended the Christian Brothers School (CBS) in Ennistymon. When his family moved to Limerick city he attended Limerick CBS. Holland later joined the Christian Brothers. He was a teacher of mathematics in schools in Armagh, Portlaoise, Enniscorthy Drogheda, Cork and Dundalk until 1872.
Holland left the Christian Brothers and emigrated to the United States in 1873. He settled in Patterson, New Jersey. He became a teacher at St John’s School, Patterson which was run by the Christian Brothers. In 1879 Holland, with financial support from the Fenian Society in America, built a small submarine. The submarine, which was called the Fenian Ram, had limited success at first. The Fenians had hoped to use the submarine against the British navy but the plans never materialised. The Fenian Ram is now in the museum in Patterson New Jersey.
Holland continued to develop his design and his submarine had a successful test off Staten Island in New York Harbour on St Patrick’s day 1898. The submarine was purchased by the US navy and was named USS Holland. Six more submarines of a similar type were built for the US Navy. Holland later designed the first submarines for the British, Dutch and Japanese navies.
John Phillip Holland, builder of the first submarine and native of Co Clare, Ireland died at the age of 74 in the year 1914 On This Day.
JohnPhilipHolland by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher on 2015-01-25
US Torpedo Boat – Holland, submarine1 by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher on 2015-01-25 14:38:14