James A. Whipple papers 1846-1862
James Aldrich Whipple was born on July 22, 1826, and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where his father worked as a machinist. James showed an early affinity for engineering, which led him to an apprenticeship in a steam engine firm. He developed an interest in submarines and began inventing new mechanical designs. Whipple worked closely with the United States Navy on drafts of several implements, some of which he invented, such as a submarine trumpet and several pump mechanisms. However, he made his living primarily in salvaging shipwrecks. His career allowed him to travel throughout the world in the 1850s to such places as Venezuela, the Turks Islands, and the Middle East. Whipple became ill on a voyage in 1861 and he eventually died from the disease.