Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 24, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing a commercially successful steamboat called Clermont. That steamboat went from New York City to Albany with passengers which is a 300-mile distance in 62 hours. In 1800, he was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the "Nautilus", which was the first practical submarine in history. He is also credited with inventing some of the world's earliest naval torpedoes for use by the British Royal Navy.
Fulton became interested in steam engines and using them on steamboats in 1777 when he was around age 12 and visited state delegate William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who himself had earlier learned about inventor James Watt, (1736-1819), and his Watt steam engine on a visit to England.
By Dean Hanley
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