The Steamboat Era: A History of Fulton’s Folly on American Rivers, 1807–1860
S.L. Kotar and J.E. Gessler
The steamboat evokes images of leisurely travel, genteel gambling, and lively commerce, but behind the romanticized view is an engineering marvel that led the way for the steam locomotive. From the steamboat’s development by Robert Fulton to the dawn of the Civil War, the new mode of transportation opened up America’s frontiers and created new trade routes and economic centers.
Firsthand accounts of steamboat accidents, races, business records and river improvements are collected here to reveal the culture and economy of the early to mid–1800s, as well as the daily routines of crew and passengers. A glossary of steamboat terms and a collection of contemporary accounts of accidents round out this history of the riverboat era.