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Keeping America's Navy
#1 in the World
Dam Neck
Indian Head EOD Technology
Panama City
Port Hueneme

For over a century, the Carderock Division has been at the forefront of technologies vital to the success of the U.S. Navy and Maritime Industry. Since our component organizations were founded at the turn of the century, the Division has earned a distinguished reputation as the birthplace of superior naval technology. Our success is the culmination of efforts by our people, past and present. Through their vision, and perseverance, the Carderock Division has formed a foundation that has enabled it to stand proud for over 100 years.

Montage of old photos of locations relating to the history of the Carderock Division

Our Founders

Head shot of Rear Admiral David W. Taylor

Rear Admiral David W. Taylor

Rear Admiral David Watson Taylor, USN (4 March 1864 - 28 July 1940) was a naval architect and engineer of the United States Navy. He served during World War I as Chief Constructor of the Navy, and Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair. Taylor is best known as the man who constructed the first experimental towing tank ever built in the United States.

Full Taylor Biography

Head shot of Rear Admiral George W. Melville

Rear Admiral George W. Melville

Rear Admiral George Wallace Melville, USN (10 January 1841 - 17 March 1912) was an engineer of the United States Navy. He served with distinction during the Civil War and eventually became chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering. Melville is best known for his Arctic explorations and his mechanical and engineering talents.

Full Melville Biography

Front cover of the book 'Where the Fleet Begins'


A History of the David Taylor Research Center

By Rodney P. Carlisle

In 1898, Captain David W. Taylor built the first Experimental Model Basin at the Washington Navy Yard. The Basin staff moved to Carderock, Maryland, just before World War II, where engineers today continue to design ships and test models using the precisely built towing tanks supplemented with computer simulation.

Admiral George W. Melville, Chief of the Bureau of Engineering in the 1890's, fought for an engine experiment station to build the machines to power the 20th Century Navy. Implementing his dream, researchers designed and tested engines and fuels that drove the ships of World War I and II at the Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolis. In 1967, the Annapolis and Carderock institutions merged, and their work saw action in the Vietnam war.

This book traces the modern research and development center from its dual origin when Taylor and Melville brought science and technology to the emerging steam-driven fleet, through a full century of modernization and several reorganizations.

Where the Fleet Begins details constant work to transform vision into reality, and to keep innovation flowing from cutting-edge science and technology into the Navy's ships and submarines. Some experimental ideas were tried and abandoned, and paths not taken were as vital to progress as successes. Research, people, and institutional culture make up the story of the place where the fleet begins."

Available from the U.S. Government Bookstore

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