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The idea of creating a self-propelled ship which could sail against the wind and currents, came to the people in the head for a very long time. Because sail on winding stream with a complex fairway under sail is often impossible, and move on the oars against the current is always hard.

A real opportunity to build a high-speed self-propelled vessel appeared only after the invention of the steam engine. Steam engine converts the energy of hot steam into mechanical work piston, which makes a reciprocating motion and actuates the shaft. Steam is generated in a steam boiler. The first attempts to construct such a machine were taken at the end of the XVII century.

One of the inventors who worked on the problem of converting thermal energy into work, was a French physicist Denis Papin (1647 - 1712). He invented the first steam boiler, but could not offer design working steam engines. But he designed the first boat with a steam engine and paddle wheels (1707). The world's first steam-driven vessel was launched in Kassel, and quite confidently walked through the Fulda river. However, the joy of the inventor was short-lived. Local fishermen found the boat moving without oars and sails, the devil's invention and hastened to give the first ship to fire. Later Papin moved to England and presented their developments Royal scientific society. He asked for money to continue the experiments and the restoration of a steam ship. But money Papin never got money and died in poverty.

30 years later, in 1736, the Englishman Jonathan the Halls, on the profession of watchmaker, invented a steam tug. He received a patent on a ship driven by steam. However, during testing it turned out that steam engine installed on a ship, too weak to move it from its place. Disgraced watchmaker has not found the strength to continue the work on improvement of the invention, and died in desperate poverty and Papin.

Closest to the goal was a Frenchman Claude-Francois-Dorota, Marquis de Jouffroy. In 1771, 20-year-old Marquis received officer rank, but showed a violent temper and a year later was in prison for gross misconduct. The prison was located near the city of Cannes and the camera Marquis was overlooking the sea, so that de Jouffroy could be observed from the barred window behind the galley driven muscle strength of convicts. Filled with sympathy for him, the Marquis came to the conclusion that it would be good to put on the ship steam engine, he heard, were propelled pump, otkazyvalsya water with the English mines. After leaving prison, de Jouffroy sat down at the book and soon had their own opinion on how best to build the ship.

When in 1775 he arrived in Paris, the idea of a steam ship was in the air. In 1776, the Marquis at their own expense built a steam boat, but tests, according to contemporaries, ended not quite happily." However, the inventor did not give up. With its submission, the French government promised a 15-year monopoly on the construction and operation of steam ships whoever is the first to build a boat, suitable for continuous use, and de Jouffroy knew that victory in steam race will mean wealth and prosperity until the end of days.

In 1783, in Lyon Marquis finally experienced its second steam model. on 15 June on the banks of the saône river, the audience watched as the boat Marquis de Jouffroy bucked the trend. However, by the end of the demonstration navigation engine was ruined, but nobody noticed, besides de Jouffroy hoped to make the machine more reliable. Now the Marquis was sure that monopoly in his pocket, and sent a report of his success in Paris. But the Paris Academy was not inclined to trust messages from the province, no matter where they come. Academics were asked to give an opinion on the invention of a chief specialist of steam machines - manufacturer Jacques Perrier, who himself sought steamboat monopoly, and therefore did everything to about the invention of the Marquis quickly forgotten. De Jouffroy not received from academics financial support, and to build the next boat he had no money.

Soon, the country began a revolution, and the French was not until the ships. Besides, the Marquis de Jouffroy was on the side of the counterrevolution, and the royalists in France had been waiting for the patents, and the guillotine. De Jouffroy was able to return to the invention only after the restoration of the Bourbons, and in 1816 he got the patent. But money for the deployment of shipping businesses he never gave. De Jouffroy died in 1832 in the house for veterans, forgotten and abandoned.

In 1774, the outstanding British inventor James watt created the first universal heat engine (steam engine). This invention contributed to the creation of locomotives, steamships, and the first (steam) cars.

In 1787 in America John Fitch built a steam boat "Experiment", which has long made regular trips on the Delaware river between Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) and Burlington (new York state). He was raised on Board 30 passengers and walked with a speed of 7-8 miles per hour. The Steamer J. Fitch was not commercially successful, because his route was competing good ground road.

In 1802 mining engineer William Symington from England built tug boat "Charlotte Dundas" with the machine watt power 10 HP., turning located in the stern paddle wheel. The tests were successful. For 6 h with a strong headwind, "Charlotte Dundas" towed across the channel at 18 miles two barges. "Charlotte Dundas" was the first usable steam bot. However, the authorities began to fear that the waves from the paddle wheel will blur the Bank of the canal. The boat pulled ashore and doomed for destruction. Thus, this experience was not interested in English.

Robert Fulton

Among the spectators who watched trials unusual vessel was American Robert Fulton. He was fond of steam engines with 12 years old and already a teenager (14 years old) made his first boat with the wheel motor. After school, Robert moved to Philadelphia and settled first assistant to the jeweler, and then a draftsman. In the 21st year (1786) Fulton went to England to study architecture. However, here the Fulton abandoned painting and concentrated on the invention. Engineered channels, sluices, culverts and various machines for sawing marble, spinning flax, twisting ropes... And then returned to an old hobby - the use of steam in navigation. However, the British government was unwilling to give money for his project, and in 1797 Fulton moved to France. But here its invention is also not appreciated. Fulton thought and put forward the idea of a submarine, which can be used to mine the bottom of enemy ships. First, the French government rejected the project, considering such a method of warfare is too brutal. But the inventor at his own expense he built and tested a wooden submarine "Nautilus". In 1800 Fulton presented a practical model of its submarine Napoleon. Considering finally the invention, the French government finally gave money to build a boat made of sheet copper and even promised to pay Fulton for each sunk an enemy ship. However, the English court was deftly dodged slow "Nautilus". Therefore, the Nautilus sailed long. Attempt Fulton to sell the submarine enemy of France on sea - England also failed. The true meaning of this invention become apparent only near the beginning of the First world war.

Offended by the whole world Fulton returned home and began to look for funding for the steamboat project. Here he was lucky much more. The steamer "North river steamboat of Clermont (Steamboat North river") displacement 79 t with a steam engine 20 horsepower., turning five-meter paddle wheel was tested in August 1807 Many of those gathered on the shores of Hudson Bay did not believe in success. First flight on 4 September 1807 Fulton went without load and without passengers: those wishing to tempt fate aboard the fire-ship was not found. But on the way back appeared daredevil - the farmer who bought a ticket for six dollars. It was the first passenger in the history of the shipping company. Gladly the inventor gave him a lifetime free pass for their ships. In the same year the first steamboat Fulton began to ply between new York and Albany, bringing profit. In the history of this ship entered as "Claremont", although the "Claremont" just called farmstead partner Fulton - Livingston Hudson river in 177 miles from new York city, which the ship visited during the first voyage.

From this time on the Hudson opened the constant motion of the ship. The Newspapers wrote that many boaters in horror turned a blind eye when the "monster Fulton", emitting fire and smoke, move along the Hudson river against the wind and currents.

"The steamer North of the river"
Robert Fulton
In 1809 Fulton patented design "Claremont" and went down in history as the inventor of the steamboat.

In Russia, the first steamboat was built in the factory of Charles Byrd in 1815. It was called "Elizabeth" and made flights between St. Petersburg and Kronstadt Report about one of these flights has published the magazine "son of the Fatherland". In this article, a Russian naval officer, later Admiral Peter Richard, was first used in print of the term "ship". Before such a ship called in the English style "stimuli" or "piroscafo".

By the way...

In 1813 Fulton appealed to the Russian government to grant him the privilege to build his invention of the steamship and the use of it on the rivers of the Russian Empire. Emperor Alexander I gave the inventor the exclusive right to operate steamboats ships on line St. Petersburg-Kronstadt, as well as other Russian rivers for 15 years. However, in Russia steamboat Fulton did not create and could not benefit from the agreement, so as not fulfilled the basic conditions of the contract within three years he has not introduced a single vessel. In 1815 Fulton died in 1816 granted the privilege has been canceled, and the contract went berdu.



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