The Steamboat

By: Hope McCullah and Mindy Nguyen

Driving Question

How did the Steamboat contribute to the industrial revolution?


a boat that is propelled by a steam engine, especially a paddle-wheel craft of a type used widely on rivers in the 19th century.
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This primary source is a letter that Robert Fulton wrote about the Steamboat. He had wrote it to the Editor of the American Citizen. He talked about how the Clermont's voyage went and the timing of things. There were many other types of transportation in the Industrial Revolution but the steamboat has proved itself to be one of the best ones.


  • The first steamboat voyage was in 1807

  • The Clermont, built by Robert, was not the first steamboat made but it became the first commercially successful one

  • Robert did not make his own engine. Instead he ordered one from Watt and applied it to his boat

  • It’s average speed was 4.7 mph. It was 149 ft in length and was 18 ft wide

  • Although some may believe, Robert did not invent the steamboat, he was able to make the thought a reality and made a successful steamboat


Although some may say the transcontinental railroad was quicker, there were more environmental advantages when it comes to the steamboat. Such as, the steamboat held more cargo meaning it did to need a multiple trips like the rail road did. And if you didn't have to go back and forth it wouldn't pollute the air as much. Another environmental advantage is when people rode the train, they shot many buffalo. But when the steamboat is being ridden, animals can't be hurt because you're on water and that helps the environment.