Paddleboat  model made by John Fitch, 1785.
flipFlip to Illustration of John Fitch's design for a ferry boat with steam-driven oars, Columbian Magazine, December 8, 1786.
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Patent model of paddle-driven boat.

Credit: Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society

In 1785 John Fitch submitted this model and drawings of his steam boat to the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, which served as the new nation’s de facto patent office for a number of years. The Philosophical Society has held on to this and other early American patent models to the present day.

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