Signal Submarine Company
The man who invented SONAR
World War 1 Era
Used by Military and
Commercial Ships to record distance from a ship to submarines, or to
1901, The Submarine Signal Company was formed and provided underwater
signaling devices to the United States Lighthouse Service. In 1910,
the brilliant Reginald Fessenden joined the company and invented
several important Naval devices. One invention was an oscillator in 1911
which eventually evolved into the Fessenden Distance Recorder for ships.
Following the 1912 Titanic disaster, Fessenden,
working then as a consultant for
The Submarine Signal Company, an early
forerunner of a major electronics and defense company, invented the
Submarine Oscillator, the first electro-mechanical
sounding system, his primary goal being to properly calculate distance
between ships and submarines or even between between ships and icebergs
or ships and shore facilities.
The destruction of the Titanic inspired Fessenden, in 1914, to invent
the Sound Navigation
Ranging device, or SONAR. Based on the
reflection method, his “fathometer” emitted a sound wave that reflected
off other ships, submarines, icebergs and shore facilities. A receiver
picked up the reflected wave and by using the specifically engineered
hand held timer/recorder with the amount of time between "pings"
determined the distance and bearing of the deadly obstructions ahead of
the ships. His fathometer was quickly adopted by civilian and military
seamen, saving countless lives.
Fessenden also invented a
turbo-electric drive for
battleships, a great example would be the
U.S.S. New Mexico (BB-40), that
launched October 14th 1915.
Fessenden's inventions were
used in Military & Commercial ships for more than four decades. This
Fessenden Distance Recorder is an important piece of Maritime History.
We did an extensive Internet search and were not able to locate even 1
other available item like this. So, we know they are EXTREMELY
The Recorder itself is an
American 16 size, Solid Nickel double hinged case, 49.60mm (not counting
the stem, sleeve, crown or bow), genuine Porcelain enameled dial. The
super accurate high grade split second timer/recorder was contracted
under Fessenden's strict diagrams by the Fine Swiss Watch Company of
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with absolutely NO historical connection for thousands of
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CIRCA: Early 1900's
Excellent Overall Condition