August Busch, although better known for brewing than for submarines, did play a role in the early days of
the U.S. Navy's submarine force. In 1898 he bought the American rights to Rudolf Diesel’s engineering patents
and formed the American Diesel Company to produce the engines. John Holland considered diesel engines for
the Holland VI, but negotiations between the Holland Torpedo Boat Company and the American Diesel Company
in May 1899 failed to produce an agreement. The American Diesel Company was reorganized in 1912 as the
Busch-Sulzer Company. It first supplied diesel engines to the G-class submarines built by Simon Lake in 1911.
These engines proved superior to the diesel engines built by New London Ship and Engine Company
(NELSECO) that the Navy bought for the E-class submarines in 1911. (Prior to the E-class, submarines relied on
gasoline internal combustion engines for surface propulsion. These gasoline engines were prone to trouble
and gave off hazardous, explosive vapors.) Busch-Sulzer competed with NELSECO for additional submarine
engine orders between 1916 and 1919. By 1919, the Navy regarded Busch-Sulzer engines as more reliable than
NELSECO engines. Because of the limited rate of submarine construction during the 1920s, Busch-Sulzer
began concentrating on other diesel engine applications. When the Navy began building up the submarine
force during the 1930s, Fairbanks Morse became the Navy's primary supplier.