Learn about steamboats and their impact on American history. See drawings and photographs and read first-hand accounts. Includes audio files of steamboat whistles and videos of the boats. Also read about the inventors and builders. Includes eThemes Resources on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Watch a video on steamboats in Hannibal.
The Legend of Steamboatin' the Rivers
This site provides lots of information about steamboats. See photos and diagrams of steamboats. Hear whistles of steamboats and see video of "The Delta Queen." Be sure to explore the virtual model by clicking on "Explore a Virtual Steamboat." NOTE: The site includes an unmoderated discussion board.
First Steamboat Patent
Read about John Fitch and the first steamboat patent in the U.S.
Visit this site to learn about this boat that sunk in the Missouri River. The boat is now in a Kansas City museum. Includes information about the cargo that was on the boat.
PBS: The Invention of the Steamboat
Read about the first steamboat that was made by Robert Fulton.
Take a picture tour of a steamboat engine in "Engine Room Tour" and see pictures of them in "Steamboat Museum Deck."
The Riverboat Life
Learn about life on riverboats and what it was like to travel on them. Click on "Next" to read about a steamboat race between the "Lee" and the "Natchez."
Harvesting the River
This site briefly explains how steamboats and other boats work.
Steamboating on the Mississippi
Read about the steamboats in and around the St. Louis area. See pictures and read actual accounts. Hear the music and read the lyrics to the song "Steamboat Bill".
Portrait of a River Town
This 12-minute video, "Portrait of a River Town", from the Finding Missouri: Our History and Heritage series tells about life in Hannibal, a Mississippi River town. Learn about steamboats in the area and the author Samuel Clemens who grew up in Hannibal.
Boatmen on the Missouri
Learn about life of boatmen depicted by a Missourian artist. Read about the painting and the artist on pages four and six of this six-page PDF.
Fact Monster: John Fitch
Read a short encyclopedia entry about John Fitch, inventor of the steam engine.
Fact Monster: Robert Fulton
Read a short encyclopedia entry about Robert Fulton, a man who built successful steamboats.
eThemes Resource: Mississippi River
Learn all about the Mississippi River, its role in Westward expansion, and its importance to Missouri. Sites include maps, photos, an audio file and Webcams.
eThemes Resource: Missouri River
These sites tell about the Missouri River, past and present. See maps and photographs of the river as well as animals found in and around it. Includes information on Lewis and Clark, fur traders, and transportation. Also covers the issues surrounding the river and its endangered status. Some sites regarding the issues are intended for the teachers and may be too difficult for some students.