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1743, Jan 211780s-1790s1798, Jul 2
an American inventor, clockmaker, entrepreneur and engineer. He was most famous for operating the first steamboat service in the United States. The first successful trial run of his steamboat Perseverance was made on the Delaware River on August 22, 1787, in the presence of delegates from the Constitutional Convention. It was propelled by a bank of oars on either side of the boat. During the next few years, Fitch and Voigt worked to develop better designs, and in June 1790 launched a 60-foot (18 m) boat powered by a steam engine driving several stern-mounted oars.
 Timeline (2)
08/22/1787-John Fitch's steamboat Perseverance completes its test run, years before Robert Fulton
08/26/1791-John Fitch granted U.S. patent for his working steamboat
 Quotes (2) • View in Quotations
The day will come when some more powerful man will get fame and riches from my invention, but nobody will believe that poor John Fitch can do anything worthy of attention.
[The steamboat] will answer for sea voyages as well as for inland navigation, in particular for packets, where there may be a great number of passengers. He is also of opinion, that fuel for a short voyage would not exceed the weight of water for a long one, and it would produce a constant supply of fresh water. ... [T]he boat would make head against the most violent tempests, and thereby escape the danger of a lee shore; and that the same force may be applied to a pump to free a leaky ship of her water. ... [T]he good effects of the machine, is the almost omnipotent force by which it is actuated, and the very simple, easy, and natural way by which the screws or paddles are turned to answer the purpose of oars.
 Contemporaries
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John Fitch1743, Jan 211780
 
1798, Jul 21798, Jul 2

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