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  • Frank McNeill
    Oliver Evans Oructor Amphibolos has been replaced by the North River, also known as Clermont. Some audience members might notice another steamboat and wonder
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2006
      Oliver Evans Oructor Amphibolos has been replaced by
      the North River, also known as Clermont. Some audience
      members might notice another steamboat and wonder why
      there could be another one, if Fulton's North River
      was the only steamboat on the Hudson. The reason is
      that this one is a replica of the original North River
      that is referred to as the Clermont in this report
      about the replica:

      Research Concerning the Clermont
      IMMEDIATELY upon the merging of the Hudson
      ter-centenary and the Fulton centenary movements, as
      recorded in Chapter 1, the building of a facsimile of
      Fulton’s pioneer steamboat, the Clermont, became a
      part of the Commission s plans as naturally as had
      that of the Half Moon.
      This task fell to the Naval Parade Committee, of which
      Rear Admiral Joseph B. Coghlan, U. S. N., was Chairman
      until his death, December 5, 1908, and of which Capt.
      Jacob W. Miller has been Chairman since. After her
      construction, the new Clermont became the charge of
      the Clermont Committee, of which Mr. Eben E. Olcott is

      1909 Clermont Replica at Anchor
      The researches in regard to the Clermont were
      conducted chiefly by Admiral Coghlan, Naval
      Constructor, Win. J. Baxter, U. S. N., Capt. Miller,
      Mr. Olcott, Mr. Frank E. Kirby and Mr. J. W. Millard.
      Messrs. Kirby and Millard, naval architects and
      engineers, drew the working plans, and Mr. Millard was
      the Commission’s Inspector of Construction. The vessel
      was built at Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, by the
      Staten Island Shipbuilding Company.
      It is a curious fact that the Naval Parade Committee
      had greater difficulty in determining the appearance
      of the Clermont, which was built in 1807, than in
      determining the appearance of Henry Hudson’s Half
      Moon, which entered the river in 1609. There is no
      contemporary picture or drawing to be found in Europe
      or America of either the Half Moon or the Clermont,
      but, as intimated in the preceding chapter, there are
      so many references to the masting, rigging and draught
      of the Half Moon in Juet’s Journal of Hudson’s voyage,
      that with the aid of contemporary pictures of the
      harbor of Amsterdam and its shipping, the Half Moon
      could be accurately reconstructed.
      But in making the facsimile of the Clermont not only
      did the Committee lack contemporaneous pictures of the
      vessel, but authentic descriptions of its details were
      also almost entirely lacking; and still further, the
      Clermont being a pioneer vessel, it was not one of a
      type and no aid could be drawn from the appearance of
      other vessels of that period. The anomaly was thus
      presented of a greater difficulty in reconstructing a
      vessel 100 years old than in reconstructing a vessel
      300 years old. The plan adopted by the Commission,
      being the product of the most critical and painstaking
      technical and historical research, is, therefore, of
      great interest not only to persons interested in
      marine matters but also to historians and the public
      In pursuing their researches, the Committee found a
      great many persons who offered information about what
      they believed to have been the original Clermont, but
      this information was generally found to apply to the
      boat after she was remodeled, and as the Celebration
      was designed to commemorate the beginning of steam
      navigation, the Committee determined to arrive as
      nearly as possible at the appearance of the pioneer
      A document bearing on the original size of the
      Clermont was a letter written by Fulton three months
      after her first trip, in which letter he suggested how
      she should be altered. This highly interesting
      document reads as follows:
      Go to http://tinyurl.com/kuhoq for the rest of this

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