November 22, 2017

Today in History: Federal Patent for Steamboat Awarded


Today in History–August 26–the Library of Congress features the awarding of a federal patent for the steamboat on this day in 1791 to two (!) men—John Fitch and James Rumsey—each who had devised different systems. Find out whose sketch of what is featured above and uncover more fascinating facts by visiting the Today in History section. Then, if you haven’t run out of steam, check out this large collection of primary sources related to Fitch, Rumsey, and the steamboat.

John Fitch Was Granted a U.S Patent for the Steamboat from America’s Library

John Fitch steamboat image set

John Fitch, the Real Inventor of SteamboatThe New England Magazine Volume 14, Issue 4, June 1893

John Fitch correspondence

The petition and remonstrance of John Fitch [as related to James Rusey] 1789

James Rumsey Steamboat Company Proposals May 1, 1788,

James Rumsey correspondence

Historic newspaper coverage: John Fitch steamboat

Historic newspaper coverage: James Rumsey steamboat

Minnehaha steamboat from America’s Library

Journey by Steamboat American Treasures from the Library of Congress

Steamboat image set

Steamboat maps

Steamboat sheet music

Steamboat song recordings

Steamboat oral histories

Historic steamboat films

Steamboat books & other texts

Periodical articles

Modern-day U.S. legislation related to steamboats

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