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Robert Fulton
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Robert Fulton

Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 - February 24, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor.

Fulton was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He designed the first practical submarine, the Nautilus, commissioned by Napoleon. The Nautilus was first tested in 1800.

In 1807, he developed the first commercially successful Paddle steamer. The name of Fulton's first steamboat is often given as the Clermont. In fact, he never called it by that name, generally referring to it simply as the North River Steamboat, but the name often appears in the literature. The Clermont left New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River on August 17, 1807, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.

Fulton patented his design for a steamboat on February 11, 1809.

Robert Fulton is interred in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan, New York.