87
87
Fulton, Robert
[ORIGINAL PEN, INK, AND WATERCOLOR DRAWING OF A DETONATOR AND MUZZLE FOR AN UNDERWATER CANNON]. [NEW YORK: CA. 1807]
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT
87
Fulton, Robert
[ORIGINAL PEN, INK, AND WATERCOLOR DRAWING OF A DETONATOR AND MUZZLE FOR AN UNDERWATER CANNON]. [NEW YORK: CA. 1807]
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography

|
New York

Fulton, Robert
[ORIGINAL PEN, INK, AND WATERCOLOR DRAWING OF A DETONATOR AND MUZZLE FOR AN UNDERWATER CANNON]. [NEW YORK: CA. 1807]
Pen and ink with watercolor on paper (20 1/2 x 28 in.; 521 x 711 mm). PROVENANCE: Solomon Alofsen (1808-1876, presented to) — The New Jersey Historical Society (received in 1855, ink stamp on verso)

Expertly repaired tear visible only upon close inspection.


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Provenance

Solomon Alofsen (1808-1876, presented to) — The New Jersey Historical Society (received in 1855, ink stamp on verso)

Literature

Colden, The Life of Robert Fulton; Dickinson, Robert Fulton, Engineer and Artist: His Life and Works; Morgan, Robert Fulton; Philip, Robert Fulton, A Biography; J. Franklin Reigart, Life of Fulton; Sale, The Fire of His Genius: Robert Fulton and the American Dream

Catalogue Note

UNDERWATER ORDNANCE DESIGN BY THE FAMED POLYMATH

Robert Fulton was a renaissance man: he studied painting under Benjamin West, launched the first successful paddle-steamer service in the world, designed and tested the first practical submarine, and significantly advanced the design of submarine torpedoes and torpedo boats.

Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Fulton moved to England in 1786 to study painting. His practical experiments with submarine torpedoes and torpedo boats began with his move to France in 1797 and culminated in the testing of a deployable submarine (The Nautilus) in 1800. In 1804 he moved back to England and continued his experiments with torpedoes in tandem with his overseeing the construction of a steam engine to power a boat that he had designed. In late 1806 he returned to the United States to supervise the construction of what was to become the North River Steamboat or Clermont. Whilst this was going on he also continued with his experiments with torpedoes and submarines: his "torpedo" bombs were tested in New York Harbor and he published a pamphlet, "Torpedo War and Submarine Explosions," in 1810. With government support, he continued his experiments and with the outbreak of the War of 1812, he concentrated on his "submarine gun", a precursor of modern torpedo techniques.

The drawing was de-accessioned by the New Jersey Historical Society. It originally formed part of a large collection of Fulton's drawings given to the Society in 1855 by the Dutch-born engineer, ethnologist and historian Solomon Alofsen (1808-1876).

Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography

|
New York