Rumsey, James

Rumsey, James

(1743–92) inventor, engineer; born in Cecil County, Md. A pioneer in steam navigation, he built a model steamboat in 1784, and in 1786 he exhibited a steamboat on the Potomac. He was awarded patents in the U.S.A. and Europe (1792). Had he lived longer, he might have developed a commercially viable steamboat before Robert Fulton.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.