Robert Fulton

Robert Fulton
Personal Information

Name: Robert Fulton

NOTE: I copied it from wikipedia,but I re-wrote it with my own words.


Nationality: U.S.

Birthdate: November 14th,1765

Birthplace: Lancaster County,Pennsylvania

Place of Death: New York City

Parents: Robert Fulton & Mary Smith


Steamboat,steam warship,& the submarine.


Robert Fulton (November 14th,1765 – February 24th,1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat. He also designed a new type of steam warship. In 1800 he was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was the first practical submarine in history.

Early life

Robert Fulton was born in a part of Little Britain Township, Pennsylvania that was separated as Fulton Township in 1844. He grew up in a small, two-story, gray stone house.

Fulton had become interested in steamboats in 1777 when he visited William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who had earlier learned about James Watt’s steam engine on a visit to England. Henry had then made his own engine and in 1767 he had tried putting his engine in a boat. The experiment was unsuccessful because the boat sank, but his interest continued.          

Education and work

In 1786, Fulton went to study painting in Paris, and there he met James Rumsey, who sat for a portrait in the studio of Benjamin West where Fulton was an apprentice. Rumsey was an inventor from Virginia who ran his own first steamboat in Shepherdstown (now in West Virginia) in 1786 and repeated his attempt on December 3, 1787. As early as 1793 Fulton proposed plans for steam-powered vessels to both the United States and British governments, and in England he met the Duke of Bridgewater, whose canal was used for trials of a steam tug, and who later ordered steam tugs from William Symington. Symington had successfully tried steamboats in 1788, and it seems probable that Fulton was aware of these developments.

In 1797, Fulton went to France, where Claude de Jouffroy had made a working paddle steamer in 1783, and commenced experimenting with submarine torpedoes and torpedo boats. Fulton is the inventor of the first panorama to be shown in Paris, which was complete by 1800. The street where his panorama was shown is still called “‘Rue des Panorames'” (Panorama Street) today.

Fulton designed the first working submarine, the Nautilus between 1793 and 1797, while living in France. He asked the government to subsidize its construction but he was turned down twice. Eventually he approached the Minister of Marine himself and in 1800 was granted permission to build.

In France, Fulton also met Chancellor Robert R. Livingston who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to France in 1801, and they decided to build a steamboat together and try running it on the Seine. Fulton experimented with the water resistance of various hull shapes, made drawings and models, and had a steamboat constructed. At the first trial the boat ran perfectly, but the hull was later rebuilt and strengthened, and on August 9, 1803, this boat steamed up the River Seine. The boat was 66 feet (20.1 m) long, 8 feet (2.4 m) beam, and made between 3 and 4 mph (5 to 6 km/h) against the current.

In 1806, Fulton married Chancellor Livingston’s niece Harriet (who was the daughter of Walter Livingston), and they later had four children: Robert, Julia, Mary and Cornelia.

In 1807, Fulton and Livingston together built the first commercial steamboat, the North River Steamboat (later known as the Clermont), which carried passengers between New York City and Albany, New York. The Clermont was able to make the 300 mile trip in 62 hours. From 1811 until his death, Fulton was a member of the Erie Canal Commission.

In 1816, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania donated a marble statue of Fulton to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the US Capitol Building. Fulton was also honored for his development of steamship technology in New York City’s Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909. A replica of his first steam-powered steam vessel, the Clermont, was built for the occasion.

A wide number of places are named for Robert Fulton and his inventions, including:

* Fulton Township, Lancaster County, PA
* Clermont Elementary School, Fulton Township, Lancaster County, PA
* Fulton Elementary School, Fulton Township, Lancaster County, PA[4]
* Robert Fulton Fire Company, Fulton Township, Lancaster County PA
* Robert Fulton Highway, Lancaster County, PA
* Fulton Opera House, Lancaster, PA
* Robert Fulton Drive in Columbia, Maryland
* Fulton Street in Brooklyn
* Fulton Street in Manhattan
* Fulton Street in Massapequa Park, New York City
* Fulton Street in New Orleans
* Fulton Street in Alcoa, Tennessee
* Fulton Street in San Francisco
* Fulton County, Georgia
* Fulton County, Indiana
* Fulton County, Kentucky
* Fulton County, Illinois
* Fulton County, Pennsylvania
* Fulton County, New York
* Fulton, Mississippi
* Fulton, Missouri
* Fulton, Oswego County, New York
* Fulton, Schoharie County, New York
* Fultonham, Ohio
* Fultonville, New York
* Fulton, Maryland
* Fulton Hall, State Quad, University at Albany SUNY

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