Print depicting Robert Fulton's steamboat the Clermont, ca. 1807. From "Tales from Ohio History for Home and School," by William Henry Venable. The Clermont was the first commercially and economically-viable steamboat design. On August 17, 1807, it traveled up the Hudson River from New York City to Albany, New York, in a time of thirty-two hours--roughly a quarter of the previous time of the trip by sail. It took only a few weeks for the Clermont to take off as a successful commercial shipping option at seven dollars round trip between the two cities. Fulton continued to make improvements in steam-powered ships. He constructed the first steamboat to travel on the Ohio River, the New Orleans, ca. 1810. His research dramatically altered life for Ohioans and for all Americans. Thanks to Fulton's improvements of the steamboat, Ohioans now had quick access to the Gulf of Mexico by sailing down the Ohio River to the Mississippi. This helped move Ohio from a strictly subsistence economy to a much more commercial one.
The Ohio Historical Society 977/1 V55
Veneable, Tales of Ohio History
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