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Robert Fulton

Definition: Engineer and inventor best known for developing the steamboat, in particular, the Clermont. Fulton was originally an artist and studied painting under the great Benjamin West. Fulton first designed a submarine, the Nautilus, which was operating for France in 1800. After testing a steamboat in France, Fulton returned to America and tested the Clermont in New York harbor in 1807. He later built a steamship that was a warship. Even though Robert Fulton didn't invent the steamship, he proved that it could be used for business and commerce.

Related Resources:
The 19th Century
Get a glimpse of what life was like in the exciting 1800s.

Elsewhere on the Web:
Life of Robert Fulton
Learn all about the life of this famous American!

Letter from Robert Fulton to George Washington
Read what Fulton said in his letter asking for canal service between Philadelphia and Lake Erie.

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