“My head is so full of original notions that there is no vacant chamber to store away the contents of dusty books,” said Robert Fulton to his strict Quaker Teacher. The son of a widow with five children, he knew the oppression of poverty throughout his childhood. Refusing to allow the poverty to define him, he developed a persuasively entertaining personality that would prove an asset in winning the confidence of rich and influential friends. At age eleven he learned more in the streets of Lancaster, PA than he did in school by making himself useful in gun shops during the American Revolution. His mother sent him to Philadelphia to become an apprentice for Jeremiah Andrews, a jeweler. He went to England to study art but never became more than a mediocre artists. Living off the favors of rich patrons, he took up inventing. Unlike most inventers of the day, wealthy men looking to for a hobby, Fulton wanted to earn a living at it. He started with improvements to canals, offering ideas that had already failed. Crossing the channel, he worked on submarines for Napoleon, borrowing heavily from David Bushnell’s Revolutionary War submarine the Turtle, making it bigger and adding a snorkel. England offered him a stipend to work on his submarine for them and then let him languish in inactivity killing a project they never wanted to succeed. Leaving England, he came home in 1806 and started working on a steamboat. Men on both sides of the Atlantic had worked on steamboats since James Watt introduced his steam engine in 1776. Fulton was the first man to build a steamboat that could travel over four miles an hour carrying passengers and cargo. Robert Fulton was the first for profit inventor, becoming very rich and famous in that pursuit.