William “Frenchy” Deneau was a minor celebrity in Chicago. This William Nissen seems to be no relation to Peter Nissen, leaving one to speculate that the report had been a typo, and that the reporter meant to say “Peter,” not “William.”. There was also speculation that it was built in 1890 by Peter Nissen. :). U.S. … "Masterful Sleuthing" - NYT Bestselling author Steve Hodel, We haven't restarted in-person tours yet, and don't plan to this year. No wonder you've been busy. Deneau was given permission to salvage the submarine and it was hauled from the Chicago River on December 20,1915. The mysterious submarine Fool Killer being raised from the Chicago River on December 20, 1915 [1000 × 798] Close. No drawings or diagrams for his second submarine survive, but drawings of Philips’ subs from the 1850s do strongly resemble the pictures of the Fool Killer that eventually came to light. The vessel was named the Fool Killer by the papers. We explore this little-known Chicago mystery. Check out the new, You can already see the clip here on travelchannel.com, Peter Nissen, the accountant-turned-daredevil. I found it over by the Madison Street bridge!” It also seems that in the process of raising it, workers had to drag it through the river a couple of miles to the Fullerton bridge. The Fool Killer Submarine.
Phillips’ family said, decades later, that the submarine found in the river was undoubtedly one of his. It was listed as “The Submarine or Fool Killer, the first submarine ever built,” being exhibited along with “skee ball, a new amusement device,” but it was merely listed among other top draws, including “The Electric Girl, The Vegetable King, Snooks, the smallest monkey in the world (the paper was especially enchanted with the monkey, who delighted crowds by sucking his thumb), the fat girl, and the Homeliest Woman in the World.” The Fool Killer was mentioned in the papers almost daily, though one can imagine that it didn’t take much to make the papers in the town of Oelwein in 1916. Thank you for helping us improve PBS Video. Aired: 01/04/10 Rating: NR Share: Share this video on Facebook. For a dime, customers see the remains of the old ship — and the remains of the dead guy and the dead dog! Email, because then it's easily forwarded around a group to see if anyone else knows, and details don't get lost in translation. But first, we need you to sign in to PBS using one of the services below. Copyright © 2020 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), all rights reserved. For the low price of a dime, people could tour the interior of the Fool Killer and have a question and answer session with Deneau. Lucky clients! By this point in the tour, I’ve told about the gruesome deaths of over 700 people, but you mention a dead dog….. Posted by 4 years ago.
The author of more than 20 books, he is frequently seen on The History Channel, The Travel Channel, and more. Half a world away, Europe was in the grip of the world’s first submarine warfare, one of the deadly new types of battle introduced to the world in the first world war. By 1917, Parker’s Greatest Shows had replaced the sub with a new submarine that could demonstrate manuevers in a giant glass tank (and replaced Snooks with a “monkey speedway”), leaving historians to speculate Parker sold the old submarine for scrap, but no one really knows what happened to it – it could still be out there someplace today, as far as anyone knows! At the time, submarines were in the papers almost daily. This blog post is going to focus on the later recovery of one of his submarines and the continuing search for the Marine Cigar at the wreck of the Atlantic. We explore this little-known Chicago mystery. Since Peter Nissen died onboard a different ship, not a submarine, and William Nissen seems to have been alive when the sub was raised, the identity of the ship’s poor victim remains a mystery. By logging in to LiveJournal using a third-party service you accept LiveJournal's User agreement. He was created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik.In his brief Man-Thing appearance, the Foolkiller attempted to kill two major characters in the series: F.A. Phillips appears to have designed at least four submarines in his lifetime – according to his descendants, his third model, built in 1851 and known as the Marine Cigar, was stable enough that he was able to take his family on fantastic underwater picnics (this was probably the one he lost in 1853 while trying to salvage the wreck of The Atlantic in Lake Erie – it’s still lost in the lake today).
According to their first article on the sub’s re-discovery, it was believed to have been bought and raised by Peter Nissen, the accountant-turned-daredevil, around 1890, who sank it the first time he tried to use it.
It had been there for at least ten years, was 40 feet long, and contained the remains of a man and his dog. According to his family legend, a prototype he built sank in the Chicago River and claimed the Fool Killer as one of their ancestor’s creations. Most likely, all of the contemporary reports on the history of the craft were mistakes – no sources were ever given, and they seem to be the result of half-remembered stories of news items from decades before. Problems Playing Video? “It might have been the first large submarine ever built, if it had worked,” I say. (update: in articles discovered after this was written, it was mentioned by people “in the know” that a couple of military test subs had been sunk in the river at one point. Congratulations! A fourth model had torpedo mechanisms added. Also, Phillips first and third sub models were known to have escape hatches – why wouldn’t the second one have had one?
William Deneau does seem to have been a bit of a showman – in 1958, on the anniversary of the Eastland Disaster, Deneau told reporters that he had just been onboard the repaired Eastland – which, he said, was still sailing under another name – for a cruise from California to Catalina the year before. Publication history. Your report has been successfully submitted. One place to ask might be local museums - someone might actually know this information offhand. Check out the new Cemetery Mixtape podcast! Add for Fool Killer display Photo Credit- https://laststandonzombieisland.com/2014/01/24/the-mystery-of-the-foolkiller-submarine/. So, could the submarine have been beneath the river since the 1840s? However, this is hard to verify – census records indicate that there WAS a William Nissen in Chicago in the 1890s, but he was still alive as of the 1920 census, five years after the bones were discovered! But the Tribune also once reported that it was first owned by an “eastern man,” and some have speculated that this might refer to Lodner Darvantis Phillips, a shoemaker from Michigan City, Indiana, who also happened to be a submarine pioneer. Not many writers would have been able to explore this topic like this. Since then, we’ve found some new information, including a new “last known location;” I found some ads from June, 1916 saying that it was on display at Riverview, the amusement park that stood near Western and Addison, a month after its appearance at a fair in Iowa.
WTTW video streaming support provided by members and sponsors. A barge with a crane is on the left side of… In November of 1915, a submarine was found at the bottom of The Chicago River. This is the only evidence, however, his designs resembled the submarine found more closely than Nissen’s. The Foolkiller Submarine: A Chicago Mystery One of my favorite research topics in Chicago History is the Fool Killer Submarine, which was found in the Chicago River in 1915, where it had been buried in river muck for decades. Furthermore, if the submarine had sunk in 1870 on the first time out and raised after twenty years, who would be crazy enough to go sailing in it? Once inside, the discovery was made of a man’s skull and a dog’s skull, just the skulls. The next month, when the skulls were found, the Tribune reported that the ship had been purchased and raised in the 1890s by a man named WILLIAM Nissen – since then, most people have assumed that the skeleton onboard was his that of William Nissen. “But apparently it didn’t, because when they raised it up the next month, they found a dead guy and a dead dog onboard the thing.” There’s always an “awwwww” when I mention the dog. Perhaps they were mistaking it for the submarine tested in Lake Michigan in 1892 by George C. Baker, which was about forty feet long – roughly the length of the Foolkiller – or the model Louis Gatham tested in the lake the next year. Police combed their missing persons records to see who the skull could belong to. Playground Jungle: The Songs You Sang When the Teacher Wasn't There, Smart Aleck's Guide to American History (new book now out! 95 years ago, a primitive submarine was raised from the bottom of the Chicago River. Easy option to get useful information as well as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, Very informative article. Plain and simple, from us to you. 95 years ago, a primitive submarine was raised from the bottom of the Chicago River.
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