John Fitch, American inventor, c 1780s.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 31cm x 32cm

John Fitch, American inventor, c 1780s.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving. Following his involvement in the American War of Independence, John Fitch (1743-1798) started working on developing steam powered boats. Between 1786 and 1790 he built four steam-ships propelled by sets of reciprocating paddles. He later experimented with screw propulsion but these ventures were not a commercial succes and disillusioned with his life he killed himself in 1798.

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