Re: The New Homepage Picture
Good Morning all,
I also find this drawing most interesting. In my year of researching Fulton's steamboat Frederick Aeschbacher is the only Model Boatwright that I have found who has built a North River model based on the reconstructed 1808 version. All others seem to have used details that were pieced together from the original bare bone boat of the maiden sailing in 1807 up until the 1808 reconstruction.
Trying to put the bits and pieces of information together fron old documents and artistic renderings are a challenge that I have come to enjoy. The details that I have found lead me to believe that Fulton's trial run was made with the basic steam powered boat with no real accommodations for passengers. He found that the boat was unmangeable with the small tiller/rudder. He apparently layed over in Clermont, NY and enlarged the rudder and installed a ship's wheel with ropes and pulleys to assist in stirring. He also added 20-30 berths for passengers. After running up & down the Hudson for the remainder of 1807 and a few rammings from sail powered boats he decided to enlarge the boat's proportion for stability and creature comfort. During the winter of 1807-08 the boat was lengthed by approximately 16 ft and widened by approximately 5 ft. Upwards of 60 berths, a galley and lounges were added. The paddlewheels were enclosed to protect the passengers from spray and the rub rails to protect the wheels from the other boats. Essentially he made a Cadillac out of a Chevy!
If there is an interest I'll post some more photos that show the various artistic configurations of the North River. Otherwise I will try to stay focused on the CLERMONT pop-pop.
Enjoy your Holidays!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Frank McNeill" <frankmcneilll@...> wrote:
> Hi Pete and All,
> In my un-humble opinion, this drawing is one of the most interesting of
> several of Pete's additions to files because the rub rails for paddle wheel
> protection that are not shown on on the original version. I have a copy of
> "They Made America" authored by Harold Evans,
> I copied this text from the book: 'Two weeks after the maiden voyage, Fulton
> advertised the first trip north for paying passengers, hired a cook and
> waiter, and stocked up on beef and chicken, eggs, watermelon, sugar, rum and
> brandy. He ran a schedule of two round trips a week. Each trip attracted
> more passengers; by October 1 there were 60, and on a November trip the
> vessel was overcrowded, with more than 100 people onboard. That month, with
> ice impeding travel, Fulton set about rebuilding and enlarging his boat with
> "three excellent cabins or rather rooms, containing 54 berths with kitchen,
> larder, pantry, Bar and steward's room." Fulton's imagination was
> complemented by a pragmatic temperament. As a painter under instruction he
> had got used to painting over and reworking canvases. So, too, in his career
> as an innovator. For all his proud attempts to be scientific about the
> steamboat. the calculations for the Clermont had misled him: The
> flat-bottomed original boat was so narrow as to be unstable. The rebuilt
> version was five feet wider. When jealous sloop captains made a point of
> running alongside in attempts to break off a paddle wheel, he built
> Best wishes, old Frank