Robert Fulton began experimenting with steam engine in 1800. Three years later his first steamship 20 meters length passed the test on the river Seine. The steamship reached a speed of three knots in the upstream. But this successful test did not persuade the sceptics.
“Mr. Fulton’s proposal about installing a steam engine on ships - is nonsense. The steam engine cannot replace the sails.” - said Commissioner on Fleet François Le Moyne, when heard about Fulton’s invention. And the famous commander, Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte did not believe either in using a steam engine on the water. In 1803 he said about Fulton: “There are a lot of picaroons in every European capitals. They hurry around the world and offer to all the rulers their fantastic inventions. All of them are charlatans and cheaters hungry for money only. This one American is one of them. I don’t want to hear about Fulton ever”.
Nine years later Bonaparte took his words back. “Why did you warn me so late that Fulton’s invention may change the world’s face? If only I knew it earlier! After all, he came to me,”-Napoleon complained.
American inventor patented his first steamboat in February 1809, after which he created a few more ships and by 1814 he laid the military steamship with 44 guns, bit he died before it had been built.