Robert L. Stevens
Inventor, Deceased Person
1787 – 1856
Who was Robert L. Stevens?
Colonel Robert Livingston Stevens was the son of Colonel John Stevens. In 1807, the father and son built the Phœnix, a steamship which became the first steamship to navigate the ocean successfully when she traveled from New York City to the Delaware River in 1809. The Phœnix could not operate in the harbor at New York City because Robert Fulton and his partner Robert Livingston, Minister to France, had obtained a monopoly there.
Robert Stevens applied the wave line, concave waterlines on a steamboat hull, in 1808. He invented other improvements to shipbuilding, and he invented a percussion shell, the rights to which he sold to the government. In 1842, he was commissioned by the government to build the first ironclad warship ever constructed, but he died without ever completing it.
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