Stevens, John


Stevens, John
born 1749, New York, N.Y.
died March 6, 1838, Hoboken, N.J., U.S.

U.S. lawyer, engineer, and inventor.

He served as a colonel in the American Revolution. To protect his boiler and engine designs, he submitted his outline for a patent law; the resulting Patent Law of 1790 formed the basis of the U.S. patent system. In 1802 he became the first person to employ a powered screw to propel a ship. In 1809 his steamship Phoenix became the world's first seagoing steamboat. In Philadelphia in 1811 he inaugurated the world's first steam-ferry service. In 1825 he built the first American steam locomotive. He developed his New Jersey estate into the city of Hoboken. He was the father of Robert L. Stevens. Another son, Edwin Augustus Stevens (1795–1868), was the inventor of the Stevens plow and a pioneer builder of ironclad warships and established the Stevens Institute of Technology by a bequest. A third son, John Cox Stevens (1785–1857), headed the group that sent the yacht America to Britain, where it won the race that established the America's Cup.

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▪ American inventor and lawyer
born 1749, New York City
died March 6, 1838, Hoboken, N.J., U.S.
 American lawyer, inventor, and promoter of the development of steam power for transportation. His petition to the U.S. Congress resulted in the patent Law of 1790, the foundation of the present U.S. patent system.

      In 1776 Stevens became a captain in the American Revolutionary army and later was promoted to colonel. Afterward, he became interested in the exploits of the American steamboat pioneers James Rumsey and John Fitch, and he developed a number of designs of his own for boilers and engines. It was with the view of protecting his inventions that he submitted to Congress his outline for a patent law. In 1802 he built a screw-driven steamboat, the first example of a powered screw applied to ship propulsion. His steamboat also incorporated a multitubular boiler, for which he was awarded a patent in 1803. The following year, Stevens completed an improved twin-screw steamboat that was successful in navigating the Hudson River.

      Because of the inherent danger in using the high-pressure steam engines in his previous vessels, he began the design of a low-pressure engine to be used in a paddle-wheeled boat. Although the American inventor Robert Fulton successfully launched his own paddle wheeler, the Clermont, in 1807 before Stevens could finish, he persisted and launched the 100-foot (30-metre) Phoenix in 1809. Since Fulton had a monopoly grant of navigation rights on the Hudson, Stevens sent the Phoenix to Philadelphia by sea, the first time a steamship ever navigated ocean waters. In 1811, at Philadelphia, he inaugurated the world's first steam-ferry service.

      In 1812 Stevens submitted plans to Congress for an armoured warship, but they were ignored. In that same year he published a pamphlet entitled Documents Tending to Prove the Superior Advantages of Rail-Ways and Steam-Carriages over Canal Navigation, in which he outlined many phases of railway transportation. To demonstrate the feasibility of railroads (railroad), in 1825 he built the first American steam locomotive. It was never put into commercial service, however, and was run only on a 0.5-mile (0.8-kilometre) circular track on his estate in Hoboken.

      In 1815 Stevens obtained from the New Jersey legislature the first charter ever granted in the United States for a railroad, and the Camden and Amboy Railroad and Transportation Company was formed in 1830.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stevens, John — (1749, Nueva York, N.Y.–6 mar. 1838, Hoboken, N.J., EE.UU.). Abogado, ingeniero e inventor estadounidense. Sirvió como coronel en la guerra de independencia de EE.UU. Para proteger sus diseños de calderas y máquinas, presentó un proyecto de ley… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Stevens,John Paul — Stevens, John Paul. Born 1920. American jurist who was appointed an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975. * * * …   Universalium

  • Stevens, John Paul — born April 20, 1920, Chicago, Ill., U.S. U.S. jurist. He studied law at Northwestern University and clerked at the Supreme Court of the United States before joining a Chicago law firm, where he specialized in antitrust law while also teaching and …   Universalium

  • Stevens, John Frank — ▪ American engineer born April 25, 1853, near West Gardiner, Maine, U.S. died June 2, 1943, Southern Pines, North Carolina       American civil engineer and railroad executive who, as chief engineer of the Panama Canal from late 1905 to April… …   Universalium

  • Stevens, John Paul — (n. 20 abr. 1920, Chicago, Ill., EE.UU.). Jurista estadounidense. Estudió derecho en la Northwestern University y trabajó como asistente en la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos de América antes de incorporarse a un estudio jurídico de Chicago,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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