Origin of Steam Navigation A View of Collect Pond and Its Vicinity in the City of New York in 1793.


An uncommon ‘forgotten history’ of steam navigation.

1 in stock

Are you interested in a high resolution image? Email me for inquiries.


This fascinating lithographed broadsheet claims to bestow “Honor to Whom Honor is Due” by celebrating the technological breakthroughs discovered by John Fitch in the field of steam-propelled maritime navigation. Further text under the title identifies Collect Pond in New York as the site of “the first boat, propelled by Steam with paddle wheels or screw propellers was constructed by John Fitch, six years before Robert Fulton made trial of his boat upon the River Seine, in France, and ten years prior to his putting into operations his boat Clermont in New York.” An illustration of this boat can be seen in the upper right, described by the Encyclopedia of Virginia in the following excerpt;

“The illustration, at top, depicts an eighteen-foot-long boat powered by steam that traversed Collect Pond in lower Manhattan. The inventor of this steam engine, John Fitch, stands at the center of the boat, with one hand on the main pipe. The figures in the stern are Robert Fulton, with his arms crossed, and Robert Livingston, standing next to him.

Fulton is generally credited with being the first person to create commercially successful steamships, and he was granted several state monopolies despite Fitch’s early patents in the field. The figure at the bow is a young John Hutchings, who created this lithograph. Hutchings claimed to have been on board the boat as it crossed Collect Pond, and he believed that Fitch, rather than Fulton, should have been supported in his inventions. He writes: “If his country had furnished Fitch the means, we should have been blessed with Steam Navigation ten or fifteen years sooner than we were.”

Designed and drawn by John Hutchings and printed by Francis Michelin of New York in 1846.


Map Details

Publication Date: 1846

Author: John Hutchings

Sheet Width (in): 18.9

Sheet Height (in): 15.5

Condition: B

Condition Description: Scattered discoloration visible along the upper margin and in a few spots across the image. One 3" diagonal tear along the right side, which has a narrow margin and shows some wrinkling. Minor offsetting from text and illustrations, but remains in good condition overall on a strong sheet.


1 in stock