Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP)

Navigation Aids

Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP)
Search Finding Aids
 

Main Content

Andrea Sutcliffe book research files for "Steam"

circa 2000-2004, 2 linear feet

02

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Craven Hall Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Craven Hall Historical Society
Creator:
Sutcliffe, Andrea J.
Title:
Andrea Sutcliffe book research files for "Steam"
Date:
circa 2000-2004
Call Number:
02
Extent:
2 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Andrea Sutcliffe is the author of Steam: The Untold Story of America's First Great Invention, a book published in 2004.  Steam is about John Fitch, inventor of the first American engine capable of propelling a boat and proprietor of the world's first commercial steamboat service. The Andrea Sutcliffe book research files for "Steam," circa 2000-2004, consist mostly of copies of secondary articles about Fitch with some correspondence, copies of primary source documents, and research notes.
PDF Version:

Return to Top »

Biography/History

"In the summer of 1790, the world's first commercial steamboat carried passengers between Philadelphia and Trenton. Its inventor was not Robert Fulton--he wouldn't launch his steamboat on the Hudson for another seventeen years--but a silversmith from Connecticut named John Fitch. Three years earlier, Fitch built the first American steam engine compact and powerful enough to propel a boat, which he mounted on an odd-looking oar-propelled vessel. Among the early witnesses to his efforts were members of the Constitutional Convention. Soon after, he and a rival steamboat inventor from Virginia began a bitter fight for patent rights. Their battle led to the first U.S. patent act, one of the first laws of the new republic. In the process, several Founding Fathers were dragged into the conflict, including Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.  Steam tells the two-decade saga of America's first significant venture into technology, from Fitch to Fulton, and of the forgotten men whose perseverance helped move the young nation westward.

"Andrea Sutcliffe is a writer and editor who lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Steam is her ninth book."

Bibliography:

Quoted text from: Sutcliffe, Andrea. Steam back cover. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of research files, largely containing copies of secondary articles with some correspondence, copies of primary source documents, computer print-outs of articles, and research notes. It is divided into two series: one organized by book chapter and one organized by topic.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Craven Hall Historical Society

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories

Sponsor

This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Access Restrictions

Contact Craven Hall Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Gift of Andrea Sutcliffe, circa 2005.

Processing Information Note

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Craven Hall Historical Society directly for more information.

Return to Top »

Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)
  • Bucks County (Pa.)
  • Warminster (Pa. : Township)
Personal Name(s)
  • Fitch, John, 1743-1798
  • Fulton, Robert, 1765-1815
  • Sutcliffe, Andrea J.
Subject(s)
  • Inventors
  • Steamboats
  • Transportation--History

Return to Top »