The Best Way To Travel On Water

History of the Steamboat

Before cars, trains, trucks and airplanes, rivers were one of the main ways to travel. Rivers would carry people and items from one place to another. River travel could be really slow depending on the current and man-power, but that all changed when the steamboat was invented. The first steamboats could travel up to five miles an hour and didn't require men to paddle along the side. The steamboat radically changed the way of river travel and trade.

Advantages and Disadvantages


-They allowed faster travel of goods and passengers

-They could go against the current without having to use the wind

-They could larger loads than stagecoachs and horse-drawn carriages


-Disasters like explosions and torn hulls were common

-The wooden steamboats wore out quickly

-They were extremely unreliable and were known to blow up and kill people.

The Steamboat - History Key Assignment - February 2014