Little Old New York-a Great 1940 Movie about Robert Fulton’s Steamboat

Here’s a very good Movie that has all sorts of things to rethink about. But Robert Fulton and his struggles to get his infamous River Steamboat built is pretty awesome to think about. It’s part of our past History. It’s a good Hollywood Movie. So, Pop some Popcorn and Enjoy!

Engineer and inventor Robert Fulton (Richard Greene) comes to New York City in 1807, where he meets tavern and inn keeper Pat O’Day (Alice Faye). O’Day comes to strongly believe in Fulton and his dream after he lodges at her establishment. He pursues the investment capital he needs to build his visionary steam-powered ship.

O’Day’s longtime suitor, Charles Browne (Fred MacMurray), opens his own shipyard to assist the dapper engineer in building his steamboat after Fulton receives initial financial investment from Chancellor Robert L. Livingstone (Henry Stephenson). Additional funds are raised by O’Day’ from her business acquaintances. Fulton eventually acquires the remaining funds needed to complete his revolutionary paddle steamer.

After a shipwright named Regan (Ward Bond) has a run-in with Fulton, Regan attempts to turn every local deck hand and sail-powered passenger boat operator against the engineer, exploiting their fear of losing their livelihoods to a steam-powered vessel. In the end, despite adversity, bad luck, and additional interference from Regan, Fulton is able to complete the steamboat, now named Clermont, at Charles Brown’s shipyard. She is successfully launched on her first voyage, silencing the local critics and doubters who had previously labeled the venture “Fulton’s Folly”.

Little Old New York is a 1940 American black-and-white historical drama from 20th Century Fox, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, directed by Henry King, that stars Alice FayeFred MacMurray, and Richard Greene. The film is based on a play by Rida Johnson Young, which opened on Broadway on September 8, 1920, and starred Genevieve TobinDouglas Wood, and Donald Meek.

Little Old New York
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry King
Screenplay byHarry Tugend
Story byJohn L. Balderston
Based onthe play
by Rida Johnson Young
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
StarringAlice FayeFred MacMurrayRichard Greene
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byBarbara McLean
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dateFebruary 3, 1940
Running time100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budgetmore than $2 million[1]

Little Old New York tells the story of the hardships of the engineer Robert Fulton in financing and building the first successful steam-powered ship in America, which would revolutionize river transportation and then ocean commerce around the world.

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1909 Replica Built of Fulton’s River Steamboat

Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 24, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the world’s first commercially successful steamboat, the North River Steamboat (also known as Clermont). In 1807, that steamboat traveled on the Hudson River with passengers from New York City to Albany and back again, a round trip of 300 miles (480 km), in 62 hours. The success of his steamboat changed river traffic and trade on major American rivers.

Robert Fulton
Portrait of Fulton
BornRobert Fulton
November 14, 1765
Little BritainLancaster CountyProvince of PennsylvaniaBritish America
DiedFebruary 24, 1815 (aged 49)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeTrinity Church Cemetery
OccupationEngineer, inventor, businessman
Years active1793–1815
Known forSteamboat, Nautilus (1800 submarine)
Spouse(s)Harriet Livingston ​(m. 1808)​

In 1800, Fulton had been commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, leader of France, to attempt to design a submarine; he produced Nautilus, the first practical submarine in history.[1] Fulton is also credited with inventing some of the world’s earliest naval torpedoes for use by the Royal Navy.[2]

Fulton became interested in steam engines and the idea of steamboats in 1777 when he was around age 12 and visited state delegate William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who was interested in this topic. Henry had learned about inventor James Watt and his Watt steam engine on an earlier visit to England.