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Jump Back in Time The New Nation (1790-1828)
Ben Campbell, steamship at landing
By the time the steamship Ben Campbell was built around 1852, steamboats had gotten a lot faster.

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

Have you ever ridden in a motor boat? Do you know what makes them move? Before the invention of the internal combustion engine, steam was used to power ships. On August 26, 1791, John Fitch was granted a United States patent for the steamboat. He first demonstrated his 45-foot craft on the Delaware River in 1787 for delegates from the Constitutional Convention. He went on to build a larger steamboat that carried passengers and freight between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Burlington, New Jersey. The first steamboats were slow by modern standards--certainly not fast enough for water-skiing. However, they opened up a new kind of travel for both cargo and passengers.
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