Dubuque County Historical Society Images

The Builders

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Robert Fulton

Robert Fulton was an artist, inventor and engineer best known for his pioneering development of a practical steamboat. In 1807 Fulton launched his 146-foot steamboat the North River Steamboat of Clermont. By 1810, three of Fulton's boats were in operation on the Hudson and Rariton Rivers. Fulton designed the New Orleans, the first steamboat to operate on the western rivers. During the War of 1812, he designed the world's first steam powered warship. Robert Fulton proved the commercial feasibility of steamboats and ushered in a new era in the history of transportation.



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