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Towed-array research and development over 86 years is examined from the inventions of Dr. H. C. Hayes during World War I to multiple arrays towed by oil exploration ships in 2003. Time lines of the effort over the years are presented for array applications to military surface ships, submarines, and for oil exploration efforts. Military surface ship towed-array systems from the Hayes electric eel effort to the SQR-14, SURTASS, ETASS, and APL/Johns Hopkins dual towed arrays are reviewed. Submarine towed-array programs from the early 1960s to today are described and a prediction of future towed-array development is presented.