Overall: 4 1/4 x 4 3/4 x 3/4 in. ( 10.8 x 12.1 x 1.9 cm )
cast: on lip: "FIRST * SUCCESSFUL*/ STEAMBOAT * MDCCCVII */ CENTENNIAL MCMIX" chased: around portrait: "ROBERT FULTON" chased: below portrait: "F. Ziegler" stamped: on side: "GORHAM CO/ G [image of a lion] C/ Q178"
Rounded cast triangular souvenir ashtray from the Hudson-Fulton Celebration; chased medallion portrait of Robert Fulton in the center with an image of his ship the "Clermont" above; two American bald eagles in the lower corners; raised edge inscribed, "FIRST * SUCCESSFUL*/ STEAMBOAT * MDCCCVII */ CENTENNIAL MCMIX;" signed by the artist along the bottom edge; manufacturer's stamp on the side.
Robert Fulton originally studied to be a painter in Philadelphia and then England. While in England, he developed an interest in the mechanics of ships and canals. He designed naval ships for the French and British before meeting Robert Livingston, American ambassador to France. Livingston contracted him to build a ship to steam between New York and Albany. In 1806, he built the Clermont. In 1807, it began service on the Hudson river as the first successful passenger steamboat in the world.
Gift of Samuel V. Hoffman, 1/17/10
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.