A.C.B.'s Steamboats

It's the bee's knees

Mickey Mouse: Steamboat Willie (1928)

Steamboat History

The era of steamboats began in America in 1787. In 1769, the Scotsman James Watt patented an improved version of the steam engine that ushered in the Industrial Revolution. The idea of using steam power to propel boats occurred to inventors soon after the potential of Watt's new engine became known.John Fitch made the first successful trial of a forty-five-foot steamboat on the Delaware River on August 22, 1787, in the presence of members of the Constitutional Convention. Later Fitch built a larger vessel that carried passengers and freight between Philadelphia and Berlington, New Jersey. John Fitch was granted his first United States patent for a steamboat on August 26, 1791. However, he was granted his patent only after a battle with James Rumsey over claims to the same invention. Both Inventors had similar designs.

Advantages to Steamboating

Steamboats could travel at astonishing 5 miles per hour. They could move against river currents.instead of four months of travel it could take twelve days.

Disadvantages to Steamboating

steamboats had a higher chance of exploding than paddleboats. Much higher.

Inventors of Steamboats

John Fitch

Robert Fulton

James Rumsey

Impact of Steamboats to N.D. & Importance to N.D.

Steamboats brought settlers to N.D.

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul and Winnipeg. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of pounds of freight across the border. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the United States and Canada that exists to this day in the I29 corridor.

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