Kroehl, Julius Hermann

Kroehl, Julius Hermann,

1820–67, German-American inventor and engineer, b. Memel, Prussia (now Klaipeda, Lithuania). Immigrating in 1844 to the United States, he became an iron manufacturer and civil engineer. Kroehl worked on the construction (1852–53) of the New York Crystal Palace, and during the Civil War served as a civilian contractor and then as a naval lieutenant, performing minesweeping operations and developing navigation charts. After a severe illness, he was honorably discharged (1863). In 1863 he helped form the Pacific Pearl Company, and built (1863–65) the Sub Marine Explorer, the first submarine able to dive and resurface by itself. It was transported to what is now Panama's Pacific coast and reassembled; he died soon afterward, either from his Civil War illness or decompression sickness, and the submarine was abandoned off San Temlo Island in 1869.
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