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Jump Back in Time The New Nation (1790-1828)
Launching party for the steamer Rochester
Launching party for the steamer Rochester in 1910 (see how big steamers became!)

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John Fitch Was Granted a U.S Patent for the Steamboat
August 26, 1791

Between 1814 and 1834, New Orleans steamboat arrivals increased from 20 to 1,200 a year. Boats carried passengers and all kinds of cargo: cotton, sugar, animals, and later agricultural and industrial supplies. Into the 20th century, steam propulsion became so advanced that you could ride a giant steamer across the ocean. When railroads adopted the technology of steam, they too began to flourish. By the 1870s, they had replaced the steamboats as the major transporter of goods and passengers within the United States. You can still ride a tourist steamboat today. Steam-driven paddleboats are especially popular on the Mississippi.
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