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Fulton, Robert

Born: 1765 AD
Died: 1815 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Engineers, Inventor

1765 – He was born on the 14th day of November of this year in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


1777 – He may have become interested in steamboats in this year when (at the age of 12) he visited William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who had found out about Watt’s steam engine on a visit to England.


1786 – When he came of age, Fulton went to England in this year to study painting. There he met James Rumsey who sat for a portrait in the studio of Benjamin West, where Fulton was apprenticing.


1793 – As early as this year, he proposed plans for steam vessels to both the United States and the British Governments, and in England, he met the Duke of Bridgewater, whose canal would shortly be used for trials of a steam tug, and who later ordered steam tugs from William Symington.


1797 – He went to France (where the Marquis Claude de Jouffroy had made a working paddle steamer in 1783) and commenced experimenting with submarine torpedoes and torpedo boats.


1800 – He designed the first practical submarine, Nautilus, commissioned by Napoleon. Nautilus was first tested in this year.


1807 – Fulton and Livingston built the first commercial steamboat, the Clermont, which carried passengers between New York City and Albany, New York


1815 – He died on the 14th day of February of this year.