Grateful American® Foundation

Who invented the first commercially successful steamboat?

August 17th

PSM_V12_D468_The_clermont_1807August 17, 1807 — The Clermont began its trip up the Hudson River today, traveling 150 miles in 30 hours. The first commercial steamboat, it was designed by American engineer and inventor Robert Fulton.

He adapted the steam engine to fit his boat, which was also built to be comfortable. Fulton’s staff provided the passengers with tea, meals, and storage for their belongings.

Words of Wisdom

The fear of meeting the opposition of envy, or the illiberality of ignorance is, no doubt, the frequent cause of preventing many ingenious men from ushering opinions into the world which deviate from common practice. Hence for want of energy, the young idea is shackled with timidity and a useful thought is buried in the impenetrable gloom of eternal oblivion.

— Engineer and inventor Robert Fulton, "A Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation" (1796)

Partners & Supporters