History of Steamboat

History of Steamboat

In the 1700's people began producing products
in a brand new way. This was thanks to the amazing inventions that people
made. During this period, growth in the cities begane to grow. The factories
sprouted up everywhere. People used to work on the farms , but it became
hard to compete with big farms, so some people moved to the cities to work
in the factories. This great time is known as the Industrial Revolution.

Steamboat, steam-driven vessel, in common use during the 19th and early

20th centuries to carry passengers and goods across bodies of water (see

Boats and Boatbuilding). Steamboats are also called paddle-wheel boats.

The term steamship usually refers to larger, ocean-going, propeller-driven
vessels, such as the cruise ships of the mid-20th century (see Ships
and Shipbuilding). In the early 1700s French and inventor Denis Papin experimented
with ideas for steam-driven boats. However, it was not until after
engineer James Watt made a number of improvements to the steam during the
last third of the 18th century that the first functional steamboats appeared.

Early models of steamboats include the steam-driven paddle-wheel boat built
by French nobleman Marquis Claude de Jouffroy d'Abbans and tested on the

Satne River in 1783. American inventor John Fitch built and tested the
working steamboat in the United States in 1786. In 1790 launched the first
regular and freight service, from Philadelphia to New Jersey. His venture
failed and passed before the public fully supported steamboat transport.

About 1800 Scottish inventor Symington built the Charlotte Dundas,
which worked as a tug. American and inventor Robert Fulton designed the
first successful steamboat in the United States, the Clermont. In 1807
traveled in it from New York City to Albany, a distance of 150 miles, in
a running time of 30 hours (he made stops along the way). This was a major
improvement over the tow barges and sailing vessels that had been the means
of upstream transport until then. In 1809 American inventor and engineer

John Stevens took a steamboat of his design, the Phoenix, down the Atlantic

Coast from New Jersey to Philadelphia, the first time a steamboat was used
in the ocean. Stevens subsequently launched a steam-powered ferry service.

Soon steamers were sailing regularly on rivers and along coasts. Early
steamboats had relatively low power and thus proved most useful on calmer
bodies of water such as lakes wide, slow-moving rivers. Such vessels were
important for transporting people and goods, especially on the southern
portions of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Romanticized in the works
of American writer author Mark Twain and others, some steamboats were rough
and uncomfortable, while others were luxurious and had elaborate woodwork
and decorations. Steamboats became less important for transportation
when faster forms of transport appeared (see Public Transportation).

Rail and road transport took as the primary means of people and goods to
from cities, even those with river access. Restored steamboats and motorboats
built to resemble steamboats still travel many bodies of water as ferries
and tourist attractions.

First steamboat to attempt to ply the Mississippi,
the S.S. New Orleans was launched September 11, 1811. The fledgling ship,
however, was unable to trundle upstream. Five years later, the steamboat

Washington embarked on its maiden voyage. The 148-foot, 400-ton Washington
was fitted with sidewheels, a rear paddlewheel, two decks that rose high
above the water and two tall chimneys. Its design inspired spectators to
call her a "floating wedding cake". The contemporary and elegant Washington
would set a new standard for thousands of US riverboats. Progress notwithstanding,
the large river-going ships traveled at a lumbering pace. The slow engine,
powered by wood until the mid 1800s, and subsequently by coal, caused the
paddlewheel to straggle in the waters.

Ultimately, old boilers gave way to new
high-pressure boilers... and a new set of problems. Constructed with poor
quality materials, the boilers were prone to explosions. The breakthrough
came at the end of the 19th Century, when steel was first used to fashion
a more pressure-resistant boiler. The train, however, had in the meantime
emerged as the transportation mode of choice throughout the continent,
relegating such celebrated steamboats as the Natchez, the Robert E. Lee
and the 37-meter (122 feet) long and 8-meter (26 feet) wide Chaperon to
the annals of history.