Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/549

This page has been validated.
531
THE GROWTH OF THE STEAM-ENGINE.

This boat was sufficiently successful to indicate the probability of making steam-navigation a commercial success, and Stevens, assisted by his sons, built a boat which he named the Phœnix, and made the first trial in 1807, just too late to anticipate Fulton. This boat was driven by paddle-wheels.

The Phœnix, shut out of the waters of the State of New York by the monopoly held by Fulton and Livingston, was placed for a time on a route between Hoboken and New Brunswick; and then, anticipating a better pecuniary return, it was concluded to send her to Philadelphia to ply on the Delaware.

At that time, no canal offered the opportunity to make an inland passage, and, in June, 1808, Robert L. Stevens, a son of John, started with Captain Bunker to make the passage by sea.

Although meeting a gale of wind, he arrived at Philadelphia safely, having been the first to trust himself on the open sea in a vessel relying entirely upon steam-power.

95. From this time forward the Messrs. Stevens, father and sons, continued to construct steam-vessels.

PSM V12 D549 Robert L Stevens.jpg
Robert L. Stevens.

After Fulton and Stevens had led the way, steam-navigation was introduced very rapidly on both sides the ocean, and on the Mississippi the number of boats set afloat was soon large enough to fulfill Evans's prediction that the navigation of that river would become a steam-navigation.

Except in Stevens's earlier boats, and in the boats plying on the