86. In 1801, however, Symmington was employed by Lord Dundas to construct a steamboat, with the design of substituting steam for horse-power on canals.
After several trials, Symmington, whose experience, with Miller and Taylor, had been of much service in directing his experiments, completed a towboat, of which a sectional view is seen in Fig. 49, which he fitted with a stern-paddle wheel and a double-acting crank-engine of twenty-two inches diameter of cylinder and four feet stroke. This boat attained a speed of six miles an hour; but was laid aside, although perfectly successful, in consequence of a fear of injuring the banks of the canal by the waves produced by it.
The Charlotte Dundas, as this boat was named, was so evidently a success that the Duke of Bridgewater ordered eight similar vessels for his canal; but his death, soon afterward, prevented the order being filled.
87. At this time, several American mechanics were also still working at this attractive problem.
In 1802-'3, Robert Fulton, with our other distinguished country-man, Mr. Joel Barlow, the patentee of the "Barlow boiler" (Fig. 50), in whose family he resided, and Chancellor Livingston, who had at that time taken up a temporary residence in Paris, commenced a small steamboat eighty-six feet long and of eight feet beam. The hull was altogether too slight to bear the weight of the machinery, and, when almost completed, the little craft literally broke in two, and sank at her moorings.