Celebrating the USS Sperry

Elmer Ambrose Sperry, Sr.

This fine sterling silver punch bowl set, featuring a charming diving dolphin motif around the foot of its bowl, was presented to the USS Sperry, a navy submarine that launched in 1941. The submarine was named in honor of Elmer Ambrose Sperry, Sr. (1860–1930), the co-inventor of the gyroscope and gyrocompass,  regarded as "the father of modern navigation technology." The gyroscope was created to lessen the effects of waves on the ship, thus reducing seasickness; this technology was later applied to a compass that was more reliable than the magnetic compasses being used at the time.

Launch of the USS Sperry at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California on December 17, 1941
Mrs. Robert D. Lea, sponsor of the USS Sperry, christening the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne