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The Very First Time For Steamships
The "Clermont" is the first real steamboat in the history of modern shipbuilding. It innovatively featured building material of iron, steamed power system and propeller propulsion system, which created a new era in the history of shipbuilding. "Clermont" marked the end of sail, and the beginning of steam.
The American Robert Fullerton got to know James Watt at his early 20s. Then he fell in love with the steam engines, and started to design and manufacture ships. At that time, the only way to communicate between Europe and the United States was by sail, which is slow and not safe enough. As an American, Fullerton noticed that inconvenience, and looked forward to a fast ship without sail or manpower, which would make the United States and Europe neighbors.
One day in 1803, Fullerton tested his boat in the Seine. The boat was ugly and looked bulky, with a big coal-burning steam boiler. People laughed and called it "Fullerton's monster." This frustrating monster struggled to move but then stopped in the smoke. The maiden journey ended up in the laughter as a result.
The failure didn’t kill Fullerton, however. ...
... He loved this boat as parents love their children. He decided to make this monster a lovely pet. But he had no money to go on. Then he thought of Napoleon, a strategist who dominated the mighty European. Before the attack to occupy Britain from the English Channel, he suggested Napoleon the steamed fleet in 1803. But the arrogant strategist insisted on by sailboat. In 1804, Napoleon lost the fight. Some experts said that if Napoleon accepted Fullerton’s suggest, it might have been a whole different Continent.
Fortunately, Fullerton’s monster got enough support in America. As a fast rising capitalistic state, the American showed their courage, innovation and exquisite scent on new things. When Fullerton was in the mire in Paris, some businessmen invited him back to America to go on study.
In 1807, Fullerton finally completed another steamboat called "Clermont" in New York. The 45 meters long, 4 meters wide ship was bigger than the former one. But as he'd failed for many times, people believed it just would be another failure and still derided it as "Fullerton's monster".
But then on the sunny August 17, people crowed by the Hudson River in New York City. It was the day that the "Clermont" went on her first voyage. In the billowing smoke from its big chimney and noises of the engine, the quant started to roll and the ship slowly left the pier! Forty passengers on board as well as the crowds burst into cheers and tears of joy filled the captain Fullerton’s eyes. Though the ship suddenly broke down for a while, it was definitely a big success.
Since then, Fullerton became famous all over Europe and the United States as "Father of Steamship." Americans also named his hometown Lancaster in Pennsylvania after him to commemorate his outstanding contribution to mankind.
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