The John Holland project began in 1992 when I was looking for something I could model using CATIA that could be used for public demonstrations. I decided to build a computer model the USS Holland because 1) it was a small submarine that incorporated most of the systems used in submarines today, 2) it was the first submarine in the United States Navy, and 3) it played a key role in the formation of the Electric Boat Company. I soon learned that little information was readily available. As a result, my modeling project became a research project, a hobby and an obsession.
Gary McCue's John Holland Website is a vast resource on the early history of submarines and the man who became known as the father of the U.S. Submarine Service. McCue worked for a submarine design firm and used the Holland VI as a model for public demonstrations until his investigation of the craft led him into a full research project. The site contains a biographical essay and family information on Holland, descriptions of Holland's designs, summaries competing designers and their ships, drawings, photographs, personal accounts, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. A list of patents attributed to Holland includes a screw propeller, engines, a steering apparatus, and numerous submarine boats and guns. The site is basic and the navigation is not perfect, but the detail and extent of information make it worth a long visit. The site is also noteworthy for some rare information such as first-hand accounts by early crew members and trial reports. The site also provides a bibliography to aid further research.