Hunley Was Ahead Of It's Time

October 12, 2001

The excavation on the submarine resumed October 1st, with a series of x-rays. So far the x-rays have indicated that a total number of three canteens are located underneath the bench inside the H. L. Hunley. As archaeologists were excavating in the stern area of the sub this week, they were surprised as they uncovered a fly-wheel. The mechanism is located behind the gears of the hand-crank and connected to the propeller. Archaeologists say that the fly-wheel was designed to act as a brake for the propeller. "Again, this shows us that the Hunley was way ahead of her time when it came to design and engineering," said Dr. Robert Neyland, Hunley project director. "This complex system graphically demonstrates the advanced technology of Hunley and dispels any notion that this was a primitive submarine fashioned from a boiler. It further builds the case for the final Hunley exhibit to concentrate part of its focus on the sciences and technologies employed in designing and building a craft 50 years ahead of its time. Hunley is truly a complex story of American bravery and technology, said Senator Glenn McConnell, Hunley Commission Chairman.

"We have already begun to discover more surprises about the technology and advanced systems onboard the submarine. The Hunley by no means is a primitive machine or merely a converted boiler. I highly encourage everyone to come and see for themselves, this remarkable achievement. We have extended the tour schedule throughout the end of the year to provide everyone with the opportunity," said Warren Lasch, Chairman, Friends of the Hunley. It has been almost one year since the Hunley has been open for the public to see. Since October 14, 2000, the Warren Lasch Conservation Center has welcomed over 69,000 visitors. People from all over the world have come to see the H. L. Hunley and all of her mystery. Tours to see the Hunley are available through the end of the year, weekends only in October, and Fridays, Saturday, and Sundays in November and December.

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