A Look Inside

In early 1900, the Holland VI made numerous excursions on the Potomac River in Washington DC. Congressmen, members of the Press and other influential people were invited aboard in an effort to persuade the Navy Department to purchase the Holland VI. On one of these trips H. Reuterdahl drew four sketches of the interior of the Holland. The sketches were included in an article entitled "Submarine Torpedo Boats" by Lieutenant William W. Kimball published in the September 1900 issue of Harpers Magazine. These sketches are the only known views of the interior of the boat.

H6-33-Reuterdahl Sketch of Holland Interior

"USS Holland in War Trim"

This is a view looking forward. The legs of the submarine commander are visible in the center of this picture. He is standing on a platform with his head and torso in the access trunk so he can see out the port lights. The man on the right is resting his hand on the torpedo tube latch. The man on the left is watching the depth gauge while seated on a torpedo and keeping both hands on the diving control wheel.

H6-32-Reuterdahl Sketch of Holland Interior

"Eight Feet Below the Surface"

Another view of the same man watching the depth gauge with his hands on the diving control wheel only this time he appears to be sitting on a stool (there were only two stations with standing room - the commanderís station in the access trunk and the engineers station next to the switchboard, pumps and gasoline engine). Another member of the crew is visible (to the left of the commanderís legs) standing at the switchboard.

H6-31-Reuterdahl Sketch of Holland Interior

"Ready to Rise to the Surface"

The inner torpedo tube door and dynamite gun breech door are visible on the left. Access to the forward compartment was through a three foot high arch. A member of the crew (who looks a lot like John Holland) is seated on a stool facing a pair of 2000 psi air flasks with his left hand on an air valve handwheel and his right hand on the forward trim tank hull valve.

H6-34-Reuterdahl Sketch of Holland Interior

"The Engine Room of the ĎHollandí"

The man on the left is standing next to the switchboard. The 45 HP Otto gasoline engine is visible in the center of the picture. The electricianís face is visible on the right. He had to climb over the gas engine flywheel to reach his station at the electric motor rheostat.


H. Reuterdahl drawings originally published in
Kimball, William W., "Submarine Torpedo-Boats,"
Harper's Monthly, CI (September, 1900)

Photographed and computer enhanced by Gary McCue. The comments are based on an extensive study of the existing USS Holland drawings and related documents by Gary McCue.

Copyright 1999,2000,2001,2002 Gary McCue