Robert Fulton: The First Successful Commercial Steamboat

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Robert Fulton was an American engineer who created the first successful commercial steamboat, called the North River Steamboat. His steamboat was later called the Clermont. This steamboat was able to carry passengers between New York City and Albany. Fulton also designed the world's first steam powered warship. Robert Fulton was born on the 14th of November, 1765. He was born in Pennsylvania. Even as a child, Robert would love to take things apart, modify them, and put them back together. He loved trying to build things like rockets, or a hand-propelled paddle wheel boat. He never succeed, but that didn't mean he stopped trying. As he got older, Robert's skills in engineering grew. He started to make a living off of painting pictures…show more content…
While he was there, he discovered the "plunging boat," or submarine, and was very fascinated. Robert began designing a submarine based on the ideas of the American inventor David Bushnell. He went to the French Government and told them that his submarine could be used to plant powder mines on the bottom of British warships. Robert persuaded the French, and the finally agreed to fund the project of creating these boats.In 1800, Fulton launched the first submarine, the Nautilus, at Rouen. The submarine was 24 1/2 feet long and oval-shaped. The submarine sailed above the water like a normal ship, but the mast and sail had a mechanism to make it lay flat against the deck when it went underwater. Fulton's plan was to hammer a spike from the metal conning tower into the bottom of a british ship. A time-released mine attached to the spike was designed to explode once the submarine was out of range. It was successful, but the British warships were much faster than the submarines and were able to escape many times. The French stopped funding the project after the submarines failed in a battle. Then Fulton approached the British, who thought the Submarines would help. Unfortunately, its failure in the Battle of Trafalgar made the British also stop funding
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