Robert Fulton was an inventor and American engineer that developed the first commercial steamboat. Fulton was born in Little Britain, Pennsylvania on November 14, 1765. He worked with Napoleon, Robert Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin. In 1800, he was appointed by Bonaparte Napoleon to design the Nautilus, considered to be the first practical submarine in the history. He invent naval torpedoes used by the British Navy become becoming interested in steamboat. In 1777, he first visited William Henry in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The Early Life of Robert Fulton
Robert Fulton had three sisters and one brother. His father was a close friend of Benjamin West who was a painter from West England. Robert Fulton stayed for six years in Philadelphia wherein he painted landscapes, portraits, machinery and drew houses collecting money to send to his mother for support. In 1785, Robert Fulton bought a small farm in Hopewell and moved his family and mother into it. While Robert Fulton was in Philadelphia, he accidentally met Benjamin Franklin at the age of 23. He decided shortly after to visit Europe.
Robert Fulton gained commissions from painting portraits and landscapes to support his basic needs. However, he continued to pursue his mechanical inventions. In the year 1797, Robert Fulton visited France wherein he made a paddle steamer with torpedo boats and submarine torpedoes. After designing and inventing the Nautilus, he approached the government to seek financial and constructional support. He initially failed, but by 1800, the Marine Minister granted him permission to go forward with his invention. His invention took its intial sail in the river of Seine in 1800.
The first boat of Robert Fulton was the Clermont, originally tested in the Hudson River. During the testing phase, the engine failed requiring additional adjustment. After the success of his marine inventions he received posthumous honors such as a marble statue in the capitol building. Robert Fulton died on February 24, 1815 and was honored for his steamship development and technology.
Other places in the United States are named after Robert Fulton. These include the Fulton Township in Lancaster Country, Fulton Avenue, Fulton Country in Ohio, Fulton Country in Indiana, Fulton Country in Kentucky and Fulton Country in Illinois. There was also a replica of the first boat of Robert Fulton which is the Clermont that can be found in New York.