Robert Fulton 2 - FULTON, Robert, inventor, born in Little...

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FULTON, Robert , inventor, born in Little Britain township (now Fulton), Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1765; died in New York, 24 February 1815. His father came from Kilkenny, Ireland, early in the 18th century, and settled at Little Britain. At the age of thirteen Robert constructed paddlewheels, which he applied with success to a fishing boat. The years 1782'5 were spent in painting miniature portraits and landscapes, mechanical and architectural drawing, and whatever came in his way in the line of artistic work, at Philadelphia, where he numbered Benjamin Franklin among his friends. In 1786 Fulton went to London, and was received into the family of Benjamin West, under whose instruction he studied for several years. Afterward he practiced his art in Devonshire, under the patronage of wealthy persons, among who were the Duke of Bridgewater and Earl Stanhope. With his acquaintanceship with these persons begins his experiments in mechanics. Francis Egerton Bridgewater (last duke of that name) had become famous by the construction of a navigable canal from Worsley to Manchester, and Charles, Earl Stanhope (third of that title), was the inventor of the Stanhope printing press, and a student of mechanics and engineering. In 1798 Fulton actively engaged in a project for the improvement of canal navigation, and in the following year obtained from the British government a patent for a double inclined plane for raising or lowering boats from one level to another on a system of small canals. An account of this patent is in the "Repertory of Arts," vol. xvii. In 1794 he patented a mill for sawing marble. Some time in 1796 he made plans for the construction of cast-iron aqueducts, and a great work of this kind was built for crossing the River Dee. A bridge built upon his plans was erected at Wandsworth, and others at several points on the Surrey railway. He also patented in England a machine for spinning flax, a dredging machine, a market or passage boat, a dispatch boat, and a trader or amphibious boat to be used on canals. In 1796 he published his " Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation," having previously published some articles on the subject in the London " Morning Star," advocating small canals. Copies were sent by the author to the president of the United States and other officials, each accompanied by a letter emphasizing the advantages to be derived by the United States from canal navigation. In 1798 he addressed letters, or rather essays, to Lord Stanhope, which were apparently intended for publication one aiming to arouse English interest in internal improvements, and the other to promote the interests of education in France. Among his manuscripts was found a work, probably written about the same time with the above, advocating free trade. In 1794 he became a member of the family of Joel Barlow, author of the "
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2011 for the course ROBERT FUL MT 140 taught by Professor Magoo during the Spring '11 term at Kaplan University.

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Robert Fulton 2 - FULTON, Robert, inventor, born in Little...

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