Most efficient way to go!

History of the Steamboat

In the early 1800s the steam boat was invented. The steamboats were a huge improvement from traveling on a regular boat because it all depended on the current and the direction it was going. Steam boats could travel up to 5 miles per hour, ran on steam, less man-power, and could go up current. This amazing boat became the most popular use of transportation on the river. This was used for transfer produce and people from place to place.
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  • 4 times faster than the average boat and fastest transportation
  • go against current
  • cut travel time by months
  • haul greater loads
  • capacity of an average 500 people
  • no rowing


  • Native American attacks
  • unsafe designs resulted in boiler explosions
  • sinks
  • cannot float in shallow water
  • sea sick


James Watt invented the first engine that operated on steam. This led to the idea of using the engine to power a boat. John Fitch was the first one to make an operating steamboat but they were high priced and difficult to control. This is the reason they were not successful so Robert Fulton improved the idea and made the boat a hit.

How did it impact North Dakota?

When steamboats brought the people to North Dakota it also brought new towns, communities, and businesses. This helped more people settle in North Dakota and make use of the rich soil of the Red River Valley. Steamboats transported our ancestors to North Dakota and made it what it is today.

Importance of steamboats settling west

The steamboats brought people to the west where they could settle and have a better life. The west also had things to offer like cropland and small communities. The economy grew and populated overtime to what is now America.
The Steamboat - History Key Assignment - February 2014

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