New York Public Library
Manuscripts & Archives Division
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018-2788
1.8 linear ft.
Robert Fulton (1765-1815) was an American inventor, civil engineer and artist. Although he did well as a landscape and portrait painter in Philadelphia, he became interested in canal engineering while in England and France. His inventions included submarine torpedoes and the Nautilus (a "diving boat"). He returned to the U.S. and with the support of Robert R. Livingston designed and built various types of steamboats, notably the Clermont, the first American steamboat to be commercially successful. Collection consists of correspondence, notes, diary, manuscripts, legal documents, drawings, and related items. Materials concern the invention of the steamboat and the submarine torpedo, patent disputes, and commercial use of Fulton's boats. Also, original drawings, 1804, signed by Fulton; and copies (photostats, typescripts and facsimiles) of manuscripts and letters.