Feature Post

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The North River Steam Ship

Fulton, Robert (1765-1815), one of the most obscure of famous men in American history, was an inventor and mechanical engineer, and artist. He is best known for the design and construction of Clermont, the first commercially successful steamboat. The Clermont inaugurated a new era in the history of transportation. Besides his work with steamboats, Fulton made numerous important contributions to the development of naval warfare, the submarine, the technology of mine warfare, design and construction of the first steam warship and that the transport channel.

In the early years. 
Fulton was born November 14, 1765, a farm near Little Britain, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He spent his childhood in Lancaster, and showed inventive talent at an early age. He turned out to be lead pens, household goods, his mother, and salt to the stars for the celebration of the city. Fulton has developed a manual for use in a rowboat. He also built a rifle that had the vision and the hole in the original model.

Fulton went to Philadelphia at the age of 17 years, and became an apprentice goldsmith. It was not long to shine as a painter of portraits and miniatures. He saved enough money to buy a farm of his mother. At 21, Fulton went to England to study with the way the American artist Benjamin West. In London, Fulton made a modest living as an artist. But he became increasingly interested in the scientific and technical progress. After 1793, he gave all his attention in this area, and painted just for fun.

Fulton first enthusiasm was for the development of the canal. He designed new types of river boats, and a system of inclined planes to replace the locks of the canal. Other mechanical problems have defied. He invented a machine for making ropes and one for spinning flax. It was a labor saving device for marble cutting, and invented a dredging machine to cut the strings channel. In 1796, Fulton published a treatise on the improvement of the navigation channel. Around 1797, Fulton turned his attention to the submarine. In 1801 he built a dive boat, the Nautilus, which could drop to 25 feet (7.6 meters) underwater. Fulton's work with submarines continued until 1806. He realized the dangers that submarines would bring to the battle, but he believes they could be used to reduce the sea of ​​war and piracy, just that reason. Experimental submarine Fulton was able to dive and surface, and he managed to jump craft anchored test.

However, the problem of underwater propulsion will never be resolved satisfactorily. Fulton interested in the ideas of Napoleon Bonaparte and the British Admiralty, but none of them has ever given them completely.

In 1802, Robert R. Livingston, U.S. minister to France, Fulton interested in directing his attention to steamboats. Fulton had been interested for many years in the idea of ​​steam propulsion for a boat. A boat experiment, launched on the Seine in Paris in 1803, sank because the engine was too heavy. However, a second ship, which was built in the same year, operated successfully. Fulton returned to America in 1806.

To build in Clermont. 
Fulton directed the construction of the ship in New York in 1807. Registered with the North River Steam Boat, the ship was usually called the Clermont after the Hudson River home, Robert Livingston. '17 And in August 1807, the ship began its first successful trip 150 miles (241 km) along the Hudson River in New York at Albany, about 30 hours, including nights. After restoration, the boat began to provide scheduled passenger service, the Hudson. Clermont was not the first steamboat was built, but it was the first to become a practical, economical and commercially successful steamboat. Fulton did not try to build the engine yourself, as inventors had previously done. Instead, he ordered a watt, and adapt it to his boat.

The Clermont was long and thin. The Hudson River, the public witnesses a shocking scene. There, in the river was a mechanical monster spewing flames and smoke. He was "Mr. Fulton madness! Most people thought that the engine would break out full steam and the high heavens explode or turn like a log rapidly flowing, people were wrong. Part of the success of Fulton was due to his concern for the comfort of the passengers. announced their brochures: Dinner will be served at exactly two o'clock tea with meat ... ... Dinner at 8 pm and a shelf was added to each pier, to which lords for Please put your boots, shoes and clothes, the car was not crowded. Following the success of Clermont, Fulton is responsible for the construction and operation of other vessels. He also defended the monopolies that state legislatures had granted to him and Robert Livingston. Fulton designed and built a steam warship, Fulton First of all, to defend the port of New York in 1812, the war, but died before the end of this remarkable craft. The statues statue in Fulton Hall, Washington, DC, honoring his accomplishments.

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