Biography of John Fitch (1743-1798)

American inventor, born on 21 January 1743 in Windsor, Connecticut, and died on 2 July 1798 in Bardston, Kentucky, was a pioneer in the construction of boats driven by a steam engine.

Your instruction did not pass from the elementary, although during the leisure time that allowed him to the various offices he/she held in his youth he/she devoted himself to studying mechanics self-taught. After inventing unnoticed various utensils and appliances, devoted its efforts to the application of steam engines in the navigation. In 1787 he/she conducted the first trials successfully in the Delaware River thanks to private investment, a boat to steam of 14 m in length which reached 6.5 knots. The test was performed in the presence of delegates from the Constitutional Convention. After this boat he/she built one larger, capable of accommodating cargo and passengers, whose drive was carried out with a wheel. By this second ship was granted the patent in the United States and in France, and established regular commercial line between Philadelphia and Burlington in the State of New Jersey. Two years after an unfortunate accident deterred investors, so he/she was forced to emigrate to France to show his invention to the Government. The lack of interest shown by the French authorities made it to return to its homeland, demoralized and ill, and after building a last steam, without finding anyone in their homeland showing the slightest interest in pay for their companies, ended up committing suicide. After his death, Fulton, most able to convince promoters of economic viability of the invention, which had not launched any steam before the death of Fitch, succeeded in establishing regular shipping lines, and thus become a false name and undeserved inventor of this type of transport.