Before trains, cars, trucks and airplanes existed, rivers were used to travel around places. They usually carried goods, & people. River travel wasn't fast because it depended on the the river current and manpower. That changed all very soon due to the introduction of steam powered boats in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The steam powered boats could travel at the impressive speed of up to five miles per hour.They soon changed river travel and trade, and dominated the waterways
They allowed faster travel of goods and passengers. They cut travel time by months, became entertainment areas, and increased trade. It helped people get around to new places. Steamboats could get you to a place within weeks and not months. Businesses started making money by creating places to serve steamboats.
The disadvantages of the steamboat travel were explosions, sinkings, & Indian attacks. The explosions were caused by the boilers building up too much pressure. The worst steamboat disaster was called the General Slocum. It had killed 958 people and injured 175. Steamboat races helped cause the hazard of explosions.
Robert Fulton had made the first successful steamboat in 1807. It was called the Clermont. John Fitch on the other hand made the first successful trial of the steamboat. He argued with a man with the name of James Rumsey for the same invention. Both had similar designs.
How did it impact North Dakota/importance to ND
We had the steamboats on the rivers such as Mississippi, Missouri, & the Red river. It made an importance to us because of the new settles that were coming from all over. It also helped businesses grow. The new settlers made our population grow too. In Bismarck we have a replica of the steamboat "Yellowstone" on River road.
The Steamboat - History Key Assignment - February 2014