An early image of Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat–the original name of the Clermont, circa 1820.
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Illustration of a ship on the water

Credit: Courtesy of the NYPL digital gallery, New York Public Library

This early image of the Clermont, originally named the North River Steamboat, is more a product of the artist's imagination than the ship's actual design. Constructed at Charles Browne's shipyard in lower Manhattan, the steamboat had straight sides and a flat bottom. Fulton supervised construction to ensure the hull was built to his exact specifications and powered it with a Boulton & Watt steam engine that he had imported from England.

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