Talk:Robert Fulton

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Untitled[edit]

This page is no more than a stub -- though someone saw fit to remove that designation. "Fulton's Folly" isn't mentioned -- not to mention the whole 2nd half of his life. The section on streets named after him is pure trivia -- useless filler -- and has no citations.


The article should mention something about "Fulton's Folly"-- the name that his first steam boat was called by detractors.

I saw that characterization of the North River Steamboat, aka Clermont, in elementary school, but it is conspicuously absent in the historical accounts I've been reading. If any solid primary reference, such as a newspaper article, can be located on this it should certainly be included in the article and citations. Otherwise, from the historical accounts I have seen, the North River Steamboat was successful from the start. And it was not his first ... he experimented in France with Livingston. There is a report by Benjamin Latrobe in 1803, published in the American Philosophical Society proceedings in 1809, concluding that steam power would never work, and was often cited at the time that steam transportation was futile, but Latrobe's partner, Nicholas Roosevelt, built engines for Fulton. Tomligon (talk) 17:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)



I was doing a homework assignment for American History. Here's what I actually turned in:


Term: Clermont.


Description: Clermont is the name that poorly-written history textbooks such as Houghton Mifflin’s The Enduring Vision mistakenly give to Robert Fulton’s first commercially successful steam-powered paddle boat, which he actually called the North River Steamboat.


Significance: The growth of steamboats which began with the North River Steamboat greatly increased the efficiency of shipping along America’s rivers, which encouraged interstate commerce.

Houghton Mifflin has been thouroughly owned. --NoPetrol 01:04, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Bravo! I've read even Britannica gets it wrong. But I think somebody goofed here, too. Fulton the First? She was called Demologos, from what I've read: a catamaran paddlewheeler. Trekphiler 20:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

It was originally to be called Demologos ('Voice of the People' in Greek, if I recall correctly, but the name was changed after Fulton's death in 1815. As the ship was not then completed, it was christened as Fulton the First. 216.144.111.187 23:34, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

The Demologos (Fulton) and the North River Steamboat (Clermont) are being confused here. The North River Steamboat is the passenger steamer from 1807. The Demologos was a warship Fulton designed and built in 1814, for the War of 1812. The Demologos was a catamaran with a central paddlewheel, classified as a "floating battery". The main article really does need a thorough overhaul, as it is missing lot of important details. I'm not yet qualified to do it due to lack of good citations in-hand. Tomligon (talk) 23:41, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Fulton Street?[edit]

Can anyone confirm whether Manhattan's Fulton Street is named after Robert Fulton? Thanks. --ChrisRuvolo (t) 12:58, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I believe it was. As was the one in Brooklyn and the one on Long Island (Hempstead). At least that's what we were always taught as schoolkids when I grew up there. The geographic location of all three suggest that their chronilogical establishment coincides with his life.

When he came of ass Fulton went to England in 1786[edit]

Somebody check that sentance - it was added by an IP on a vandalizm rampage but does not look like obvious vandalism. Agathoclea 13:22, 11 April 2006 (UTC) To answer the question he went there to study art with the famous Benjamin West. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.38.252.34 (talk) 00:01, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Fulton's Bankruptcy[edit]

Regarding the following statement:

In 1824, in Gibbons v. Ogden, the Supreme Court struck down Fulton's government-granted monopoly ruling that states cannot legally regulate interstate commerce. Steamboat fares almost immediately dropped from seven to three dollars after the decision and traffic increased dramatically. Fulton was unable to successfully compete with the low fares offered by Gibbons and Vanderbilt, which resulted in his bankruptcy.

Hadn't Fulton been dead nine years when Gibbons v Ogden came down? Did his ghost go bankrupt? Even the Vanderbilt article says the competition only started in 1818. DCB4W 01:54, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

1876?[edit]

There's a sentence which says "In 1876 Fulton went to France (where the Marquis Claude de Jouffroy had made a working paddle steamer in 1783) and commenced experimenting with submarine torpedoes and torpedo boats." However, Fulton died on February 24, 1815, right? Then, what year did he really went to France? --Abastillas (talk) 04:03, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The Republican Creed of Robert Fulton[edit]

I once stumbled upon "the republican creed of Robert Fulton" in a book. I haven't been able to re-locate that book or find the creed on the internet. Can anyone supply a qualified quotation of it? Waligorman (talk) 23:55, 9 April 2008 (UTC) He was like crazy and he always do bad stuff about his steamboat experiments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.248.102.186 (talk) 00:09, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

Watch this page, watch out for Garagebarrage & Noman27 (I assume 27 is the IQ rather than the age).--EchetusXe (talk) 16:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

1766?[edit]

If Fulton was born in 1765, it's highly unlikely that in 1766 he went to study painting in Paris! 69.107.121.183 (talk) 23:08, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Fulton and Jefferson[edit]

Reviewing the letters of Thomas Jefferson (in Thomas Jefferson Writings, a compilation of his autobiography, letters and various other writings, Library of Congress Catalog Number 83-19917) I find a letter from Jefferson to Fulton dated August 16, 1807. Wording suggests earlier correspondence, and this collection does not include Fulton's letters. However, Fulton has suggested torpedos for the US Navy, apparently envisioned as being deployed by cables from ships. Jefferson responds as preferring that they be attached using "submarine boats", and hopes that this has not been proved impracticable. Jefferson suggests a new corp of Naval Engineers be established for the purpose of developing such weapons. Other sources suggest, although I'm having trouble pinning down definitive sources, that the torpedos suggested circa 1807 are different from an invention by Fulton during the War of 1812, which was essentially underwater cannon fired at close range, which Fulton demonstrated would shatter wooden hulls. Also note that Livingston was Minister/Ambassador to France in Jefferson's first term, with letters to Livingston also in the Jefferson collection, and it is likely Jefferson had been following Fulton's progress for some time.Tomligon (talk) 01:45, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Fulton and Rumsey[edit]

The article contains what must be an error regarding a meeting between Rumsey and Fulton in Paris. It starts by saying Fulton went to France in 1797, and met Rumsey there. But the link to Rumsey says he died in 1792, so Rumsey cannot have been much fun to meet. I don't see a citation on this to track it back. Tomligon (talk) 17:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

If the following source is found to be worthy of citation, it offers a more probable scenario than Fulton meeting Rumsey's ghost in Paris. They might have met in the studio of Benjamin West, in London, 1788. Fulton was an artist, studying under West. This information is on page 22 of the James Rumsey Biography linked below. http://www.appaltree.net/aba/Downloads/James_Rumsey_biography.pdf, the footnote of which cites Preble, George Henry, A Chronological History of the Origin and Development of Steam Navigation, Philadelphia, L. R. Hammersly & Co., 1888. Tomligon (talk) 22:15, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Nationality[edit]

The article states that Fulton was British, but it appears that he was born in the U.S., and spent nearly his entire life there. Anybody know of a reason for listing him as British? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.94.31.206 (talk) 13:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)