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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (F)
Fulton, Robert


(1765-1815) - the son of an Ayrshire farmer, is said to have been on of the spectators when William Symington operated the world’s first practical steamboat, the Charlotte Dundas, on the Clyde River at 7 miles per hour. Two years later Fulton built what some claim was the world’s first reliable steamboat, a seventy-four foot sidewheeler, which was demonstrated on the Seine before cheering Parisians. Fulton, with the help of Robert Livingston, the Scottish-American purchaser of Louisiana, launched the first practical American steamship, the Clermont, on the Hudson in 1807. In the same year, between New York and Albany, Fulton and Livingston established the first commercial steamboat service in the world. He also invented and named the torpedo in 1804. It would be another half-century before torpedoes were self-propelled and in common use

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