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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Do Spoons Next: 1917

Do Spoons Next: 1917

1917. "Torpedo shop, Washington Navy Yard." Note the cryptic missive chalked on one torpedo. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Surface tubes

These are tubes for surface ships to launch torpedoes. There is also a reciprocating compressor casting in the photo, not out of place because the tubes launched by compressed air or black powder. Interestingly, the 21-inch tube for submarines have changed little since WWI. Today's nuclear attack submarines have tubes identical with exception of provision of a reel mechanism for wire guided torpedoes.

Torpedo tubes and rotating mounts

Here's the finished product in place.

"Triple 21-inch torpedo tubes on the upper deck of an Omaha (CL 4-13) class light cruiser, circa the mid-1920s" - from

Stir crazy

A torpedo spoon was (is?) evidently a component for easing the passage of the torpedo through the tube, as evidenced by this patent from the same era.

Guide "spoons"

I think those are actually pre WW2 torpedo deck-mounted launch tubes, and the "spoon" in the chalk message was a guide on the end of the launch tube that helped guide the torpedo as it exited the tube.


I think this place is devoted to the manufacture of torpedo tubes rather than torpedoes.

Memo to the Kaiser

Private message.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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