Its well known that David Bushnell, with the help of his Yale buddy Phineas Pratt, built a functioning submarine in 1776, and used it in missions against the British Navy. But some of the technology of that craft is not as well known. What Bushnell had really developed was an underwater bomb, which was the world's first. In the days of flintlock muskets, they had a flintlock detonator for an underwater bomb, which they called a torpedo. The detonator was on a timer, so the sub could attach the torpedo to the target ship, and make a getaway before it blew. The interior of the sub was lined with phosphorescent wood, to provide a self powering interior light source.
The sub worked, but the screw to attach the torpedo hit metal instead of wood, and could not attach the device. However, the detection of the sub caused the British fleet to move out of New York Harbor. On its second outing, it was detected by sailors, and pursued. It detached its torpedo, and the pursuing ship was discouraged from further pursuit when the torpedo detonated. The figure below was drawn many years later, in 1875, and has some innaccuracies that are significant.
The artist's version shows a screw drive, like an Archimedes screw, but Bushnell described his propulsion system as being "like the arms of a windmill." Thus, it may have had the first functioning propeller. The popular belief persisted into the 19th century that a propeller had to be screw like, as shown in Fitch's screw propeller.