IF Alexander was born in 1817 in the province of Courland in Mitava. As a young man, he showed uncommon curiosity to art and invention. Upon completion of the technical colleges, the Mitava Ivan moved to St. Petersburg, where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts, then it soon got hold of popularity.
While the whole of Europe was interested in the rapidly developing photos. This trend captured in the networks and the young Ivan, which with his head down in a fun and exciting thing for him. Innate sense of artistic taste in totality with scientific enthusiasm contributed to the creation of countless masterpieces. And pretty soon Atelier IF Alexander's become a highly profitable enterprise, and, in addition, he was given the honor to occupy the post of court photographer.
In addition to painting and photo Ivan drew inventions and technology. And perhaps his greatest invention can be considered as a submarine with a mechanical engine, which was completed in 1865. In the future, the vessel visited the Emperor Alexander II, Alexander then bestowed the Order of Vladimir fourth degree, with the following enrollment in the service as a free Mechanics (rank — the titular counselor), whose one-year maintenance was 5,000 rubles. Specifically, from this day or IF Alexander and becomes fit vsepolnotsennym inventor, who then will be destined to invent the torpedo as a weapon for its submarines.
It should be noted that the first inventor was planning to arm its submarine with 2 mines, which intended to link among themselves. They were to emerge at the enemy ship, with all this grasping with both sides of his body. After which the boat had to pull back a certain distance and undermine released mines using electric wires. In order to simplify and secure the attack submarine, IF Alexander, after all, has developed the first self-propelled projectile, runs on compressed air, a draft of which was presented in 1865, Admiral NK Krabbe (manager of the Naval Ministry), who in turn found it early so as the submarine was still under construction.
A patent for an invention Alexander received in 1865, whereas in 1866 such as the patent was R. Whitehead (British).
In 1868, IF Alexander again provides its own project torpedoes, the decision on which was made exclusively in 1869. It says: "In order not to hamper the performance of the creator, we allow the inventor to make a torpedo, using their own funds, which later will compensate." Because employment submarine, Ivan started to build its own torpedoes only in 1873 that made by hand in a locksmith's shop, located on the street of Kazan. And the first 1874 were prepared by two experienced reference.
By the way, do as torpedo torpedoes were oblong shells, which have been slightly blunted front nosecone. For the production of sheet metal was used, whose thickness was 3.2 mm. The diameter and length of the torpedoes were different: 610 mm and 5.82 meters, and 560 mm and 7.34 meters. Their weight does not exceed 1100 kg. In their motion brought compressed air, which placed in a tank, whose volume was 0.2 m3 (diameter 330 mm, length of 2.4 meters), working pressure 60 atmospheres, and he remained in the belly of the case. Torpedo was one-cylinder car engine with direct transmission to the shaft. Adjusting the depth control was carried out with the help of ballast water and the accuracy of the direction of travel provide a special vertical stabilizer.
In 1874 began the torpedo tests, which took place in the presence of Rear Admiral CP Pilkin (head of the mine unit) on the East Kronstadt raid. The entries of the IF Alexander's, torpedoes couple of times in a row made up for their scheduled plan (depth of 6 feet, a distance 2,500 feet), moving at a speed of 8 knots (at the end of 5 knots). The only drawback after the test has been named their little speed (6-8 knots).
The report of the torpedo test in 1874 stated: "Because of the poor technical performance, torpedoes are not applicable for consumption in practice. They are far inferior to torpedo Whitehead (by then it torpedoes become household names) by weight, speed, and size. " After that, enter into the ministry requests to Alexander's latest self-propelled mine the best properties. And, according to plan, it need to do to March 15, 1875, in specially designated for this locksmith New Admiralty.
Before proceeding to the development of new and improved torpedoes, IF Alexander, taking advantage of the promotion Pilkin, orders from the ship's plant some parts for "corrections in an old mine" and conducts new tests. In 1875, after firing the inventor was able to achieve high growth traits, which now amounts to 10-12 knots, and try out all the improvements that were intended for the modern torpedoes. New torpedo was completed within schedule — the deepest in the fall. Her tests were postponed.
Bimbo torpedo Alexander's on the outside virtually no different from the previous models. Its length is 6.1 meters, and the volume of 610 mm. On its systems and devices, the most significant changes was the replacement of the old with a more powerful engine — two cylinders. In addition, it was replaced by another device for adjusting the depth (before — ballast water), which ran from hydrostatic. The structure of the torpedo included four parts: the power chamber, chamber hydrostatic nasal device that has its own hydroplanes, air tank with gear and aft compartment with hydrostatic unit and engine, which has horizontal feed handlebars.
According to estimates of past firings (recognized bleak), Marine Department refused to test the latest torpedoes Alexander's and directed his attention to a proposal by R. Whitehead to supply his inventions, which was obtained in 1873.
And in 1876, the plant, which was placed on the ground then existing country called Austria-Hungary, the government has left Russian delegation, which came and IF Alexander. After that, the inventor wrote, "Mina Whitehead, as it turns out, is the same device as mine, with the only difference being that it is very different mechanisms of the highest and hard finish. In general, at his disposal a large factory, and I did the torpedo hands of ordinary locksmith Kazan on the street. " Note that at the final act of the Commission on the teachings of the torpedo Whitehead is the signature of Alexander.
After buying the torpedo Whitehead Alexander puts a number of improvements in their own creations. In 1878, at the trial he manages to increment their speed to 18 knots (at 2 knots less than that of the British.) A bit later, Alexander reaches comparative test torpedoes (Whitehead torpedoes and private) performed in the same dimensions. The field of this committee dealing with the matter, concluded that the two torpedoes have shown one start, and their minor differences do not fundamentally. They also confirmed that the next such tests can be very useful.
And yet the decision on the arms of the fleet Whitehead torpedoes had already been made. And they not on
ly acquired abroad, and launched into mass production at Russian factories. And the change that decision was entirely impossible. As a consequence, the subsequent experiments and research in this area have been closed for the inventor, and requests for new refused. In 1880, IF Alexander practically retired to work on their torpedoes, and two years later was dismissed, and services.
IF Alexander's completely ruined, abandoned his invention and so beloved them a picture. He needed a hell of a lot of money and time in writing addressed and Marine Department, stating its request to pay him the amount he owed. But all his petitions were never heard, and, of course, without any answers or payments. Some time later, inventor and artist-photographer fell ill seriously. Its located in a hospital for the poor in St. Petersburg. And in 1894 at the age of 77 years, all the forgotten and abandoned, Ivan Alexander died.