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The steam boats designed and built by John Fitch (see 1787) and later by Robert Fulton (see 1807) were designed for river travel. Rivers are, after all, gentler than the open sea, and banks are always close at hand in case of accident.

In 1819, however, the American steamship Savannah (an ocean-going vessel is a ship, not a boat), sailed from Savannah, Georgia, to Liverpool, England, in five and a half weeks. It was not much of a steamship, for it bore sails that did the major work, while the steam engine on board was at work only one-twelfth of the time. Still, it bore the promise of things to come.

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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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