Who Really Invented the Steamboat?: Fulton's Clermont Coup

Who Really Invented the Steamboat?: Fulton's Clermont Coup

by Jack L. Shagena
     
 

ISBN-10: 1591022061

ISBN-13: 9781591022060

Pub. Date: 04/15/2004

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Contrary to accounts found in school textbooks, Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat. This is the first work to chronicle the entire story of the steamboat and to place Fulton’s contribution in perspective. Jack L. Shagena, a retired professional engineer, clarifies the nature of invention, examines various individuals who contributed to the

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Overview

Contrary to accounts found in school textbooks, Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat. This is the first work to chronicle the entire story of the steamboat and to place Fulton’s contribution in perspective. Jack L. Shagena, a retired professional engineer, clarifies the nature of invention, examines various individuals who contributed to the steamboat’s development, and identifies a more credible candidate for the title of its inventor. He also shows how the Fulton myth evolved.

How could authoritative sources like school textbooks be wrong for almost two hundred years? Shagena skillfully lays out the evidence, unraveling the complex factors that have led to past confusion. He makes the important point that historians have erred in describing the development of steam navigation in terms of a biography of one person’s work.

By contrast, Shagena, from a scientific and engineering perspective, examines the entire spectrum of the achievements by many individuals in the science, technology, invention, product development, and marketing of steamboat travel. Within this framework, he considers the work of William Henry, James Rumsey, John Fitch, Oliver Evans, Samuel Morey, Robert Fulton, John Stevens and others, arriving at the most creditable candidate for the title of "inventor of the steamboat."

This well-researched, entertaining, and enlightening contribution to the history of science is important reading for students of history, science, technology, engineering, and development.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591022060
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
04/15/2004
Pages:
441
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1Perspective and background
1The significance of the steamboat21
2The invention, the inventor, and society39
3The steamboat as a system69
4Early steamboat experimenters93
Pt. 2The candidates considered
5William Henry (1729-1786)113
6James Rumsey (1743-1792)125
7John Fitch (1743-1798)171
8Oliver Evans (1755-1819)209
9Nathan Read (1759-1849)245
10Samuel Morey (1762-1843)261
11Robert Fulton (1765-1815)281
12John Stevens (1749-1838)343
Pt. 3Conclusion and afterthoughts
13The steamboat inventor391
Epilogue : giving everyone his due413
App. ARumsey's water jet steamboat explained417
App. BMinimum horsepower to weight examined423

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