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Robert Fulton (1765-1815). US engineer Robert Fulton. Fulton is best known for designing the 'Nautilus', the world's first practical submarine (launched 1800). He also worked on steam engines for boats, designing a steamboat launched on the Seine in August 1803. Fulton returned to the USA in 1806, designing a paddle steamer (later called the 'Clermont'). This launched in 1807 on the Hudson River, New York, the world's first commercial steamboat service. He also designed the first steam-powered warship.
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