Robert Fulton

1765 (Lancaster County, Pa.) – 1815 (New York)

Fulton, equally entrepreneurial and practical, was a pioneer of steam navigation and of the submarine. He studied painting in London with West. Becoming interested in canal projects, he met Watt, and in Manchester also met Owen (who fruitlessly backed his mechanical-excavation scheme), Dalton and Coleridge. In France he met Paine (another with a good practical imagination), Carnot (who tried to interest the French navy in his submarine) and Bossut (whose hydrodynamic researches helped his steamboat designs). Franklin had been a friend in Philadelphia. Boulton was met only once, on steam-engine business.