Robert Fulton

Robert Fulton
Portrait of Fulton
BornRobert Fulton
(1765-11-14)November 14, 1765
Little Britain, Lancaster County, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
DiedFebruary 24, 1815(1815-02-24) (aged 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Cause of deathTuberculosis
Resting placeTrinity Church Cemetery
  • Engineer
  • inventor
Years active1793–1815
Known forSteamboat, Nautilus (1800 submarine)
Spouse(s)Harriet Livingston (m. 1808)

Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 25, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing a commercially successful steamboat called The North River Steamboat of Clermonts. That steamboat went with passengers from New York City to Albany and back again, a round trip of 300 miles, in 62 hours in 1807. In 1800, he was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to attempt to design Nautilus, which was the first practical submarine in history.[1] He is also credited with inventing some of the world's earliest naval torpedoes for use by the British Royal Navy.[2]

Fulton became interested in steam engines and the idea of steamboats in 1777 when he was around age 12 and visited state delegate William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who himself had earlier learned about inventor James Watt and his Watt steam engine on a visit to England.

Early life and family

Robert Fulton was born on a farm in Little Britain, Pennsylvania, on November 14, 1765. He had three sisters – Isabella, Elizabeth, and Mary, and a younger brother, Abraham. Fulton's father, Robert, had been a close friend to the father of painter Benjamin West. Fulton later met West in England and they became friends.[3]

A drawing of Fulton's invention "Nautilus"

Fulton stayed in Philadelphia for six years, where he painted portraits and landscapes, drew houses and machinery, and was able to send money home to help support his mother. In 1785 he bought a farm at Hopewell Township in Washington County for £80 Sterling and moved his mother and family into it. While in Philadelphia, he met Benjamin Franklin, (1705/1706-1790), known for both his political and writing abilities and his scientific and inventing knowledge, as well as other prominent figures. At the age of 23 he decided to visit Europe.

On January 8, 1808, Fulton married Harriet Livingston (1786–1824), the niece of Robert Livingston and daughter of Walter Livingston.[4][5] They had four children: Robert, Julia, Mary, and Cornelia.[5]

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српски / srpski: Роберт Фултон
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svenska: Robert Fulton
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українська: Роберт Фултон
Tiếng Việt: Robert Fulton
Winaray: Robert Fulton