The Simon Lake Project is an endeavor organized to promote the good name and works of Simon Lake, pioneer submarine inventor. The project is the culmination of decades of preservation of the Simon Lake Historical Materials beginning with Simon Lake himself, and carried forth by his son Thomas Alva Edison Lake, his grandson Simon Lake III, and now by myself, Jeffrey Bartlett Lake, great-grandson of Simon Lake. ( See HISTORY OF THE SIMON LAKE ARCHIVES ).
The Simon Lake Historical Collection ( SEE DESCRIPTION ) is the quintessence of his works, containing extensive factual documentation. The Collection has been examined and described by Dr. Phillip K. Lundeberg, past Curator of Naval History at the Smithsonian Institute, as the "best historical collection of any marine engineers' works in existence; a priceless collection".
Having reviewed and further organized these materials over the past decade, I have acquired a great appreciation of the accomplishments of Simon Lake and a privileged awareness of his most astounding life. He is considered the "Father of the Modern Submarine" and had been referred to by admirers as the "Gentle Genius". As a boy, Simon was inspired by Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea" and he became best known for his outstanding achievements in the development of the world's first practical submarine. Even though governments of the world chose submarines for military use, Simon Lake promoted the peaceful use of his submarine technologies for "farming" the natural resources of the sea, safe oil and cargo transportation, sunken vessel salvage and other productive uses for mankind.
The life and times of Simon Lake are known to many people. He is known by the proud sailors of one of the largest ships in the world, the U.S.S. SIMON LAKE (AS33). He is known to those who visit the submarine base museum in Groton, Connecticut; by the teachers and students on "Submarine Day" at the Simon Lake School in Milford; by the residents of his hometown in Milford; by the citizens of Bridgeport where the Lake Torpedo Boat Company was located; and by the good people of Pleasantville, New Jersey where Simon built his first submarine out of wood in 1894 called "The Argonaut, Junior" and by the folks of Atlantic Highlands, where Simon successfully demonstrated the little wooden sub.
He is most proudly known and kindly remembered by members of the Lake Family.