John Stevens was born in Nyc on June 26, 1749. After serving in the Revolutionary War, Stevens started making inventions to early steamboat engines, in the procedure starting U.S. patent laws. Then he turned his focus on steam powered locomotives and helped begin the railway system in America. John Stevens III was born in Nyc on June 26, 1749. Stevens grew up as the scion of a rich family with important political links; he went to attend King’s College in New York City (now Columbia University), graduating in 1768. Stevens trained as a lawyer and became an associate of the bar in The Big Apple. In 1776, he joined the Revolutionary War effort as a captain in George Washington’s military, and was shortly promoted to colonel.
The region would end up being the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, and its own waterfront was among the places where Stevens’ steamships would go. From the late 1780s, Stevens was excited about steam navigation. Building on the task of American steamboat leaders James Rumsey and John Fitch, Stevens designed his own variations of boilers and engines. When it became clear that his layouts needed patent protection, Stevens pressed the U.S. Congress to institute the Patent Law of 1790.
Stevens’ brother in law, Robert Livingston, was also considering steam travel, and got exclusive rights to steamboat transportation in New York state in 1798. Livingston worked with Stevens on developing steam transportation, but also backed inventor Robert Fulton, who started the Clermont in 1807; Livingston’s partnership with Fulton ended up monopolizing steam journey on the Hudson River. Stevens continued to work with his own boat, the Phoenix, which started in 1808. Stevens also had a commercial ferry permit for service between Hoboken and New York City; when a steamboat took on the path it had been probably the world’s first commercial steam ferry.
The possibility of railway journey by steam powered locomotive additionally caught Stevens’ focus. The New Jersey state legislature granted Stevens the nation’s first railroad charter in 1815. Ten years after, Stevens successfully managed a steam locomotive that ran on a circular path at his Hoboken estate—it was the first such train to be built in the United States. Stevens expired in Hoboken on March 6, 1838, in the age of 88. Stevens made significant contributions to steamboats, American railways as well as the U.S. patent system. The family name also lives on in Hoboken’s Stevens Institute of Technology, that has been founded using a bequest from Stevens’ son Edwin.