The Lake Submarine Company stock certificate circa 1895
Great historical piece with a nice eagle vignette. Unissued and not cancelled. Circa 1895 from issued examples. Rare issuance from this company.
Simon Lake was fascinated with the Nautilus from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea and he vowed that one day he would build the infamous submarine of fantasy. Thus began his journey of submarine invention and he formed his first commercial company, The Lake Submarine Company in 1895 that built the Argonaut in 1896. The submarine received world-wide renown as the first successful and practical submarine in 1898, and Simon received a congratulatory telegram from Jules Verne.
Simon's main interest in submarines was for peaceful and commercial purposes, as salvaging sunken cargoes and challenging the sea to give up her treasures of food, pearls, minerals and oil. However, governments of the world demanded military type submarines, so Simon formed the Lake Torpedo Boat Company in 1901 that built Protector. The company submarines for the United States and foreign governments during the early 1900's. The main parent companies were The Lake Submarine Company for commercial ventures and The Lake Torpedo Boat Company for military purposes.
Simon Lake (1866 – 1945) was a Quaker American mechanical engineer and naval architect who obtained over two hundred patents for advances in naval design and competed with John Philip Holland to build the first submarines for the United States Navy.
Born in Pleasantville, New Jersey on September 4, 1866. Lake joined his father's foundry business after attending public schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Lake had a strong interest in undersea travel.
He built his first submarine, Argonaut Junior, in 1894 in response to an 1893 request from the US Navy for a submarine torpedo boat. In 1898 he followed up with the 36-foot Argonaut 1, which he sailed from Norfolk, Virginia for a thousand miles to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, arriving in November, 1898. As a result of lessons learned on that journey, he rebuilt it into the 60-foot Argonaut 2.
Neither Argonaut nor Lake's following submarine, Protector, built in 1901, were accepted by the Navy. Protector was the first submarine to have diving planes mounted forward of the conning tower and a flat keel. Four diving planes allowed Protector to maintain depth without changing ballast tank levels, and to dive level without a down-angle. Level diving was a feature of several subsequent Lake designs, notably the first three US G-class submarines. Protector also had a lock-out chamber for divers to leave the submarine. Lake, lacking Holland's financial backing, was unable to continue building submarines in the United States. He sold Protector to Imperial Russia in 1904 as the Osetr and spent the next seven years in Europe designing submarines for the Austro-Hungarian Navy, Germany's Kaiserliche Marine, and the Imperial Russian Navy.
He lived in Milford, Connecticut from 1907 until his death in 1945. In 1912, he founded the Lake Torpedo Boat Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which built 26 submarines for the United States Navy during and after World War I. Lake's first submarine for the U.S. Navy, USS G-1 (SS-19½), set a depth record of 256 feet in November 1912.