Cornelis Drebbel

Cornelis Drebbel Jacobszoon (* 1572 in Alkmaar, Netherlands, † November 7, 1633 in London) was an inventor, physicist and mechanics. He lived most of his life in England. He is considered the inventor of the submersible.


Around 1590 he began his training at the Academy in Haarlem, where he was also trained by Hendrick Goltzius. Since 1604 he worked in the service of the English king James I Drebbel became famous for his part, unusual inventions. The most important are

  • A thermostat for a self - regulating heater,
  • A working according to this principle incubator for chicks,
  • One actually developed by Jacob de Graeff Dircksz and Pieter Jansz Hooft Perpetuum Mobile ( which, however, won its energy from the changes in air temperature and air pressure )
  • One of the first microscopes

In 1610 he was called to the court of Rudolf the Second to Prague. After the death of the Emperor Drebbel in 1613 returned to London.

There Drebbel built the first maneuverable underwater vehicle. This was a leather coated wooden rowing boat, with the Drebbel reached a water depth of 3.6 meters. So According to tradition, he succeeded in 1620, a ride from Greenwich to Westminster on the Thames within three hours.

This first " submarine", called by contemporary observers propelled submarine, was built in England and had room for twelve rowers and some passengers. Drebbel used a kind snorkel to supply the interior of the boat under water with oxygen. Later Drebbel built two more working on the same principle submarines in larger version. Legend has it that even the English King James I is mitgefahren with one of Drebbels submarines to demonstrate its safety; secured is, after all, that the king of such a demonstration on the Thames attended. Despite the successful feature detection of Drebbels submarines whose ideas are not aroused the interest of the Royal Navy.

The lunar crater Drebbel is named after him.