Milestones in Transportation

On (and Under) the Water

Most people think Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. But in fact, John Fitch, an American, built and operated a steamboat on the Delaware River in 1787, but his passenger business failed. Fulton's steamboat, the North River, later known as the Clermont after its port town, was financially successful in 1807 and became famous.

Viking ship
Library of Congress

6000 B.C.
Reed boats are made in Egypt.
4500
Sailing ships are made in Mesopotamia.
3500
Oar-powered ships sail Eastern Mediterranean seas.
A.D. 1200
The rudder is invented in China.
1620
The submarine is invented in the Netherlands.
1787
The steamboat is invented in America.
1807
The passenger steamboat is invented in the United States.
1891
The modern submarine is invented in the United States.
1911
The hydroplane is invented in the United States.
1912
The Titanic is built in England.
1955
The hovercraft is built in England.
1973
Clayton Jacobsen introduces the Jet-ski and Kawasaki begins production of the vehicle for public sale.
1994
The “Chunnel” opens, linking France and England with rail service and a tunnel for passenger cars.
2006
To meet increased demand for cruise ships, Freedom of the Seas is introduced and becomes the largest cruise liner ever. It has 18 decks and can carry 4,000 passengers.
2009
Expected delivery of Royal Caribbean's "Project Genesis," which will be 43% larger than any other cruise ship, weighing 220,000 tons and carrying 5,400 passengers.

Information from The International Herald Tribune

For more inventions, see Inventions & Discoveries.


In the Air Transportation On the Rails