Mills' Steamboats

Guaranteed to get you there!



  • First patent in the United States was created on February 1, 1788.
  • Carried agricultural, and industrial things, along with people.
  • Could go up to 5 miles an hour.
  • Played a big part in how people got to the West.
  • In the 1880's when trains were getting popular: they took away almost all of the steamboats' business. Soon cars and trucks were created which caused the complete demise of the steamboat.


  • Could easily go against river currents unlike other boats.
  • Brings supplies quicker to towns up river.
  • Provides a lot of jobs.
  • Cheap transportation.


  • Could be raided by Native Americans.
  • Boilers could blow up.
  • Captains often race each other and sometimes capsize their boats.
  • On the Red River they often aground their ships from the lack of water.
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  • Robert Fulton tested and used the first steamboat, but John Fitch created the machine.

~How Did it Impact North Dakota~

  • Caused a better economy from the increased trade.
  • Brought supplies quicker.
  • It brought more people to the area.
  • It was a cheaper way to transport goods.

~Importance to North Dakota~

  • It helped out the railroad for crossing the river before the railroad bridge was built.
  • Bismarck turned into a major distribution area causing an increase in population
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These boats are guaranteed to get you there!

The Steamboat - History Key Assignment - February 2014