Monturiol's Dream: the Extraordinary Story of the Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the world.
Today, most submarines troll the oceans as part of military fleets. That, however, was not what Narcis Monturiol intended when he invented the craft. He simply wanted to alleviate the suffering of coral divers, who sometimes died while working off the shores of Spain. After personally saving one such diver, Monturiol devised the world's first fully operational submarine. This 50-foot-long craft displaced 72 tons of water and reached depths of 100 feet. It had a self-sustaining atmosphere, portholes, and lights, and was powered by steam. Monturiol, a "card-carrying, utopian communist," according to Stewart, hoped to make the oceans safe for all working-class people toiling there. Stewart tells Monturiol's story against the backdrop of revolutionary times in Spain. Monturiol was a lawyer, not a trained scientist, by trade, which makes his feat all the more extraordinary. Monturiol's civic-minded nature drew people's interest to his bizarre machine and garnered support for his endeavor. Pantheon, 2004, 338 p., b&w photos/illus., hardcover, $25.00.
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Sep 4, 2004|
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