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By the 1830s the United States had created a waterway from New York to New Orleans. Water transportation became a popular way to travel in the 1800s. People enjoyed traveling on steamboats along new canals. Canals and steamboats helped the economy of a still young nation. The use of steamboats and newly built canals during the nineteenth century lead to a major decrease in travel time, additional jobs, and lower shipping cost, while helping to grow the U.S economy. Flatboats and keelboats were the foundation of new forms of inland water transportation. A flatboat was a basic and affordable early boat that was usually eight to twenty feet wide and a hundred feet long. Flatboats had large cargo spaces, but could not travel against a current. Since flatboats could not travel up stream, they were usually dismantled to build homes. Some businessmen resold the wood of their flatboats. Next, came the keelboat which was an improved version of the flatboat. Keelboats were unpowered and typically moved by oars. Keelboats were capable of traveling against a current, but the process of moving a keelboat up river was extremely difficult. Flatboats and keelboats were basic, unpowered, and hard to use boats. The steam engine was an innovative new way to produce power. In 1698 British inventor and engineer Thomas Savery obtained the first patent on the steam engine. In 1769 James Watt patented an improved version of the steam engine. In 1782 James Watt developed the double-acting steam engine. The double-acting steam engine doubled the steam engine’s output. The double-acting steam engine was quickly adopted by the people working on the first steamboat. The creation of the steam engine allowed the extraordinary idea of a steamboat to become rea... ... middle of paper ... ...en wrapped around a roller that was set in a wood or iron box securely fastened to the ground about twice the height of the tree away. A crank would then be turned rotating a wheel at the end of the roller until the tree bent to the ground with its roots pulled up. The tree feller left no roots in the ground and was quick. Another invention that was developed during the canal era was the stump puller. A chain was wrapped around a stump and then attached to a spool that was about fourteen feet across. A team of mules or oxen pulled a cable on the spool, the chain lost slack eventually pulling the stump. The stump puller was expensive, but was efficient and pulled forty stumps a day. In conclusion, newly built canals and steamboats in the nineteenth century cut travel times in half, created jobs, lowered shipping costs, and helped to grow the new nation’s economy.
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