Robert Fulton From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other people named Robert Fulton, see Robert Fulton (disambiguation).
Bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1803.
Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 24, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing a commercially successful steamboat called Clermont. 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 design the “Nautilus“, which was the first practical submarine in history. He is also credited with inventing some of the world’s earliest naval torpedoes for use by the British Royal Navy.
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, (1736-1819), and his Watt steam engine on a visit to England.
- 1Early life
- 2Education and work
- 3Posthumous honors
- 6See also
- 9External links
Robert Fulton was born on a farm in Little Britain, Pennsylvania, on November 14, 1765. He had at least three sisters – Isabella, Elizabeth, and Mary, and a younger brother, Abraham. He then married Harriet Livingston and had four children, Julia, Mary, Cornelia, and Robert. His father, Robert, had been a close friend to the father of painter Benjamin West, (1738-1820). Fulton later met West in England and they became friends.