Steamboats on Long Island Sound
Robert Fulton built the world's first commercially successful steamboat in 1807, but it was not until after the War of 1812 that these vessels entered service along the Long Island Sound. For 127 years, between 1815 and 1942, steamboats provided a link between New York and cities in southern New England, greatly reducing travel time. Steamboats served the Connecticut cities of Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Derby, New Haven, Hartford, New London, Norwich, and Stonington. They also linked New York to the Rhode Island cities of Newport, Bristol, and Providence as well as the southern Massachusetts cities of Fall River and New Bedford. The rapid expansion of industries in southern New England gave steamboats the additionally important role of transporting raw materials to mills and factories and their finished products to New York. Rivalries between steamboat services led to the construction of faster, larger, and more elegantly furnished boats, resulting in the "floating palaces" that were some of the largest and most majestic steamboats the world had ever seen.
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Author’s collection Author’s photograph beam engine boat’s boats built boiler Boston Bridgeport Bristol Byron Boyles Collection cargo Chesapeake Bay Chester City and Providence City of Worcester Colonial Line Commonwealth company’s Connecticut River Cornelius Vanderbilt Courtesy Robert Suppicich deck Delaware Fall River Line freight steamboat Fulton Haas Collection Harlan & Hollingsworth Haven Railroad Haven Steamboat Company Hudson River J.P. Morgan Jersey John Roach Joy Line largest steamboat Line boats Line’s London Long Island Sound Massachusetts Museum Narragansett Newport Norwich Norwich Line overnight boats overnight steamboats paddle boxes paddle wheel Palmer Shipyard passenger steamboat photograph shows pier Plymouth postcard Priscilla Providence and Stonington Puritan R.L. Graham Collection rebuilt renamed Rhode Island Richard Peck Roach & Sons running mate saloon scrapped sister ship sold SSHSA Stamford staterooms steam steamboat built steamboat on Long steamboat operation steamboat services steamer Stonington Line Stonington Steamship Company vertical beam engine vessel wheelhouse York City