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Diane Publishing Books
Steam: The Untold Story of America’s First Great Invention
Andrea Sutcliffe (au)
In 1790, the world’s first commercial steamboat carried passengers between Phila. & Trenton. Its inventor was not Robert Fulton -- he wouldn’t launch his steamboat for another 17 years -- but a silversmith from Connecticut named John Fitch. Three years earlier, Fitch built the first American steam engine compact & powerful enough to propel a boat, which he mounted on an oar-propelled vessel. Soon, he & a rival steamboat inventor began a bitter fight for patent rights. Their battle led to the first U.S. patent act, one of the first laws of the new republic. This book tells the two-decade saga of America’s first significant venture in technology, from Fitch to Fulton, & of the forgotten men whose perseverance helped move the young nation westward. Illus.
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