Guide to the John Stevens Collection, 1808-1881
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0333
Creators:
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903
Stevens, John, 1749-1838
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.
Dates:
1808-1881
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.5 Cubic feet
2 boxes
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The main component of this collection is a double-spaced typewritten document of 858 pages transcribed (apparently in 1903) from original records and consisting of correspondence, newspaper articles, technical descriptions, legal documents, and other material relating to John Stevens, his professional work and career. Some of the correspondence is between Stevens and his rival inventors, such as Robert Fulton, credited with producing the first steamboat.
Other documents in the collection are the orginal papers incorporating the Danville and Pottsville RR in 1831 and a carefully detailed survey and cost estimate of the Camden and Amboy RR in 1830.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John Stevens (1749 1838) of New York, inventor and engineer, graduated from King's College (now Columbia University) in 1768. Admitted to the New York Bar in 1771, he served as treasurer of New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. He became interested in steam powered navigation in 1787 and for the next fifty years was active in building and promoting steam boats and trains, securing numerous patents, and inventing such important developments as the screw propellor. He established the worlds first steam ferry, between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey and later built the first operating steam locomotive in the United States Stevens secured a charter from the Legislature of Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Railroad, from Philadelphia to Lancaster County. Two of John Stevens' seven sons, Robert and Edwin were also prominent engineers and developers of transportation equipment who collaborated with their father.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Don Darroch and Robert Harding, 1989.
Author
Don Darroch and Robert Harding
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
John Stevens Collection, 1808-1881, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
This Collection was transferred from the Division of Transportation to the Archives Center in June 1989.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pennsylvania Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steam engineers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Jersey Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steam engineering Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steam-engines Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Locomotive builders Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1930-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steamboats Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- 19th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Locomotives Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Camden and Amboy Railroad. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Danville & Pottsville Railroad Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives