What Did Robert Fulton Invent?

Robert Fulton is often credited with inventing the steamboat; while he did not invent it, he turned existing steamboat designs into reality. His first boat, the Clermont, was tested on August 17, 1807. It traveled up the Hudson River from New York City to Albany, N.Y.

Fulton built the first steamboat using a steam engine from England contained within a hull based on larger ocean ships. The Clermont's first test failed. After some adjustments to the steam engine, it sailed at an average of 5 miles per hour. The Clermont reached Albany 32 hours after it left New York City.