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Who invented the Steam Engine


The invention of steam engine the is by most writers ascribed to the Marquis of Worcester, an Englishman, about 1663; but it does not appear that the inventor could ever interest the public in favor of this, or his other discoveries. The steam engine of Captain Savery, also an Englishman, is the first of which any definite description has been preserved. It was invented in 1698. Since that period it has been successively improved by various persons, but it is to Mr. Watt and Mr. Boulton, of England, that it is indebted for much of its present state of perfection.

The steam engine was first applied to the purposes of navigation by John Fitch, of Pennsylvania. From papers in the historical collections of Pennsylvania, it appears that the first successful experiments were made at Philadelphia, in 1785, three years before the attempts at Falkirk, and on the Clyde, in Scotland. The boat made several trips on the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, but owing to repeated accidents to her machinery, and the want of funds and competent mechanics for the necessary repairs, she was abandoned.

In 1807, Robert Fulton, also of Pennsylvania, made his first experimental trip on the Hudson River, with complete success. To this distinguished and ingenious American justly belongs the honor of having brought navigation by steam to a state of perfection.

In 1819, the first steamship crossed the Atlantic from Savannah to Liverpool; and in 1838, a regular communication by steamship was established between Great Britain and the United States. Since that period, ocean navigation by steam-vessels made rapid progress.