Louisiana Facts-of-the-Day Extra Info

August 17, 1807

The first commercially successful steamboat travels up the Hudson River August 17 and arrives in 32 hours at Albany to begin regular service between New York and Albany. Designed by Robert Fulton and backed by Robert Livingston of 1803 Louisiana Purchase fame, the Clermont has paddle wheels (suggested by inventor Nicholas Roosevelt, 40) powered by an English Boulton and Watt engine with a cylinder 24 inches in diameter and a four-foot stroke. The vessel is 133 feet long, 18 feet in the beam, with a seven-foot draft and a stack 30 feet high, and is the forerunner of steamboats that soon will be carrying western grain to Gulf Coast ports via the Ohio and Mississippi .