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Steamboat, any steam-powered sailing vessel. The term is commonly used to identify the kind of riverboat used in the United States in the 1800s, particularly along the Mississippi. The steamboat was a primary means of transportation before the advent of the railroad. The most famous of the U.S. steamboats was the Clermont, which sailed along the Hudson River from New York to Albany in about 30 hours in 1807.

See also: Fulton, Robert.

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