Model of the Ictíneo I submarine

Model Ictíneo I submarine

Ictíneo I submarine, Narcís Monturiol, c. 1858.

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Num. inventory: 14

Object name: model of the Ictíneo I submarine

Title: Ictíneo I Submarine

Object date: c. 1858

Author: Narcís Monturiol

Technique and material: wood and metal

Underwater navigation

The Ictíneo I was a submarine designed by Narcís Monturiol, who observed the difficulties and diseases suffered by coral collectors and the accidents suffered by divers. He had the idea of designing and building a submersible craft that could make underwater work safer and more productive, making it easier to fish for coral and pearls, recover shipwrecks and sunken treasure, or explore the sea floor.

The first version was built in 1858 and launched on September 23rd, 1859. The ship, which had room for a crew of 5, was 7 meters long, with a beam of 2.5 meters and 3.5 meters from the keel to the hatch. One of the innovations of this submarine was the double hull, with an internal and an external wall in the shape of a fish. That’s why the Ictíneo I was also known as the Vaixell-Peix or fish-ship.

The prototype was so successful that Narcís Monturiol founded the Navegación Submarina (Underwater Navigation) association to build an improved version with motor propulsion.