Fitch, John (1743–1798)
American inventor who pioneered the construction of steamboats in the United States and developed the first marine screw propeller. He carried out the first successful trial of a 45-foot steamboat on the Delaware River on August 22, 1787, in the presence of members of the Constitutional Convention. Later he built a larger vessel that carried passengers and freight between Philadelphia and Burlington, New Jersey. He was granted a US States patent for a steamboat in 1791, but it was only two decades after this that Robert Fulton was able to make steamboats profitable.
Related category• ENGINEERS AND INVENTORS
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