Cornelis Jacobszoon

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Cornelis Jacobszoon was born in Alkmaar, Netherlands back in 1572. He attended a Latin school until around 1587 when he attended the Academy in Haarlem. He was a skilled engraver on copperplate but also was interested in alchemy. In 1595, he married Sophia, that union produced 6 children.

In 1604, the family moved to England. He invented the magic lantern, the predecessor to the slide projector. He also invented the first glass-grinding machine for the manufacture of optical instruments and compound microscopes with two convex lenses. Needless to say, he was in demand but he wasn’t finished. He invented a chicken incubator and a mercury thermostat. I find this one hard to believe but he also invented a working air conditioning system.

What you may not know about Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel is that he built the first navigable submarine in 1620. It was a steerable submarine with a leather-covered wooden frame. He built three in all, the last one had 6 oars and could carry 16 passengers. He took King James I on a ride witnessed by several thousand Londoners. The vessel could submerge between 12 to 15 feet underwater and stay that way for up to three hours. He died in 1633 at 61.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray I can't imagine going to sea in a submarine.... the ultimate "pallor look"....

Jul 30, 2019 03:03 AM #1
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

And now they stay under for 90 days!

Leonardo da Vinci probably would sue him today!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jul 30, 2019 03:51 AM #2
Donald Urschalitz
One World Realty Inc. - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

That was such a feat for those times. I would have loved to take a ride in that thing.

Jul 30, 2019 04:29 AM #3
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

James Dray - another great history lesson! Thanks for sharing

Jul 30, 2019 05:25 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. What a mind to construct a wood frame, cover it with leather and take it under water! Wow! Enjoy your day 

Jul 30, 2019 05:53 AM #5
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is an incredible read and some story. Have a great day.

Jul 30, 2019 06:06 AM #6
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What an interesting story you shared with us this morning...I had no idea about the submarine let alone the precursor to the slide projector.  A

Jul 30, 2019 06:33 AM #7
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

 And here I knew or thought I knew about most submarines but I haven’t heard of this one. Thanks for sharing James Dray 

Jul 30, 2019 07:03 AM #8
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Wow, this man was paving the way for the future many years ago, sounds like a brilliant man.

Jul 30, 2019 08:19 AM #9
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow a air condition way back then.  That is hard to believe how he did that.  Thanks

Jul 30, 2019 08:40 AM #10
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James: wow! This is quite the variety of inventions.  Impressive. 

Jul 30, 2019 09:23 AM #11
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi James, actually... living in that era till 61 was quite an accomplishment in and of itself. I had no clue that submarines had a history dating that far back.

Jul 30, 2019 10:15 AM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- goodness, some people invent one thing and we consider them brilliant...this man was remarkable. 

Jul 30, 2019 01:01 PM #13
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Another genius in so many fields like Leonardo Da Vinci - thanks so much for a great introduction to a fascinating person

Jul 31, 2019 04:37 AM #14
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

WOW! And, look how far submarines have come since! I'll bet the King's voyage was quite exciting for everyone. Thanks for sharing this impressive tidbit in history, James! 

Jul 31, 2019 07:56 AM #15
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Wow! Why have we not heard of this prolific inventor before your blog post?

Jul 31, 2019 11:36 AM #16
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

WOW, he should be a legend! Hard to believe there isn't a movie about this guy.

Jul 31, 2019 01:08 PM #17
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

So the legend that Jules Verne had a wild imagination about submarines ... actually the real story was he was a student of history:)Endre

Jul 31, 2019 11:10 PM #18
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