James Rumsey, the Inventor of the Steamboat: A Paper

West Virginia Historical and Antiquarian Society, 1900 - 28 pages

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Page 9 - A short treatise on the application of steam ; whereby is clearly shewn, from actual experiments, that steam may be applied to propel boats, or vessels of any burthen, against rapid currents, with great velocity.
Page 7 - A Description and Draught of a new-invented Machine, for carrying vessels or ships out of, or into any harbour, port, or river, against wind and tide, or in a calm.
Page 12 - It gives me much pleasure to find by your letter, that you are not less sanguine in your boat project than when I saw you in Richmond, and that you have made such further discoveries as will render them more extensively useful than was at first expected. You have my best wishes for the success of your plan.
Page 11 - It is true, it will cost something more than the other way, but when in use it will be more manageable, and can be worked with as few hands. The power is immense, and I have quite convinced myself that boats of passage may be made to go against the current of the Mississippi or Ohio rivers, or in the Gulf Stream (from the Leeward to the...
Page 12 - ... be worked with as few hands; the power is immense — and I have quite convinced myself that boats of passage may be made to go against the current of the Mississippi or Ohio rivers, or in the Gulf Stream (from the Leeward to the Windward- Islands} from sixty to one hundred miles per day.
Page 14 - I would advise you to give it to the public as soon as it can be prepared conveniently. The postponement creates distrust in the public mind; it gives time, also, for the imagination to work, and this is assisted by a little dropping from one, and something from another, to whom you have disclosed the secret. Should a mechanical genius, therefore, hit upon your plan, or something similar to it, I need not add, that it would place you in an awkward situation, and perhaps disconcert all your prospects...
Page 11 - ... that the discovery is of vast importance may be of the greatest usefulness in our inland navigation, and if it succeeds (of which I have no doubt) that the value of it is greatly enhanced by the simplicity of the works which, when seen and explained, may be executed by the most common mechanic. Given under my hand at the town of Bath, County of Berkeley, in the State of Virginia, this 7th day of September, 1784. GEORGE WASHINGTON.
Page 11 - I have seen the model of Mr. Rumsey's boats, constructed to work against stream, examined the powers upon which it acts ; been eye witness to an actual experiment in running water of some rapidity; and give it as my opinion (although I had little faith before) that he has discovered the art of working boats by mechanism and small manual assistance, against rapid currents...
Page 10 - The upper cylinder acts as a steam-engine, and receives its steam from a boiler under its piston, which is then carried up to the top of the cylinder by the steam (at the same time, the piston of the lower cylinder is brought up to its top, from its connection with the upper piston, by the aforesaid bolt,) they then shut the communication from the boiler, and open another to discharge the steam for condensation; by this means the atmosphere acts upon the piston of the upper cylinder...
Page 10 - And my machine, with all its misfortunes upon its head, is abundantly sufficient to prove my position; which was, "that a boat might be so constructed, as to be propelled through the water at the rate of ten miles in an hour, by the force of steam ; and that the machinery employed for that purpose, might be so simple and cheap, as to reduce the price of freight at least one-half in common navigation ; likewise, that it might be forced, by the same machinery, with considerable velocity, against the...

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