Affordable and Quick.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Disadvantages: They were not regulated and killed a lot of people due to boiler explosions and/or unsafe operation.
- Example: One steamboat on the Mississippi, at the end of the Civil War overloaded 300% or so with returning Union soldiers who had been released form Southern POW camps. Boiler exploded and over 3,000 people died.
History of the Steamboat
Important to settling the West
Steamboats quickly became a symbol of the West. As such, westerners continuously sought to improve and decorate the boats. In competition for passengers, they began to offer luxurious cabins and built ornate lounges on board. The elegance of these steamboats served as a reassurance to westerners that they were not the primitive backwoods hicks painted by the eastern press. However, most steamboat passengers did not have access to this elegance. The onboard saloons were open only to those who had purchased expensive cabin passage. Passengers who could afford only deck passage slept in dirty, crowded conditions on a cotton bale if they could find one, on the floor if they could not.
How it impacted North Dakota
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, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.
- See more at: http://www.ndstudies.org/media/steamboats_on_the_red_steamboats_bring_people_and_businesses#sthash.6aJmsrSe.dpuf
John Fitch has led a life that would beggar a scriptwriter. He's been a blue-water sailor, a fighter pilot, a test pilot, a professional racing driver, a team manager, race course director, prolific inventor, highway safety expert, automaker, entrepreneur and dreamer.
Although Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat, as is commonly believed, he was instrumental in making steamboat travel a reality. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1765. As a young man, he set out to make his name as a portrait painter. His career would take him to Europe -- and into the orbit of people with the power to back him politically and financially.
The first working steam engine had been patented in 1698 and by the time of Watt's birth, Newcomen engines were pumping water from mines all over the country. In around 1764, Watt was given a model Newcomen engine to repair. He realised that it was hopelessly inefficient and began to work to improve the design. He designed a separate condensing chamber for the steam engine that prevented enormous losses of steam. His first patent in 1769 covered this device and other improvements on Newcomen's engine.
East Coast steamboat
The East Coast steamboat was used in coastal bays, harbors, and rivers throughout the East Coast. This was a deep-draft vessel propelled by steam engines that drove paddle wheels or propellers.
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