Robert Fulton: Early savant of steamboats and submarines
Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the telephone, Antonio Meucci did; Thomas A. Edison did not invent the phonograph as we know it, Emile Berliner did; and Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat, a score of inventors preceded him. But Fulton conceived and built the first efficient and profitable steamboat, and heralded a new age of transportation. Fulton was born in 1765 in New Britain (now Fulton), Pennsylvania. His father died when he was 3. Growing up, Fulton enjoyed drawing and spending time with gunsmiths more than he did reading books. His teachers were not impressed; they thought he was dull. He was not. He had a mind of his own. When one teacher rapped his knuckles with a ruler for being inattentive, Fulton said: "Sir, I came here to have something beaten into my head and not into my hand."