Stevens

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Stevens

Stevens, family of U.S. inventors. John Stevens, 1749–1838, b. New York City, was graduated from King's College (now Columbia Univ.) in 1768. He studied law (1768–71) and soon joined his father, a wealthy landowner and merchant, in New Jersey politics. During the American Revolution he served as treasurer of New Jersey and later (1782–83) was surveyor general of the state. In 1784 he bought an extensive tract of land in what is now Hoboken, N.J., and, when his father died in 1792, he inherited a large estate.

By the late 1780s, however, Stevens had turned his attention to steamboat transportation, and having played a major role in the establishment of the first U.S. patent laws, he procured patents for various steam boilers and auxiliary devices. With the aid of Nicholas J. Roosevelt, Stevens built (1806–8) the Phoenix, a seagoing steamboat, which, however, after 1809 shuttled between Philadelphia and Trenton. Stevens operated (1811) the first steam ferry between New York City and Hoboken, but because of the monopoly of Robert Fulton, he soon desisted. After 1810 he devoted himself to railroad activities. In 1815 he received from New Jersey the first railroad charter in the United States, and a decade later he built a pioneer locomotive.

Stevens's shipbuilding and railroad interests were carried forward by his sons. The elder son, Robert Livingston Stevens, 1787–1856, b. Hoboken, N.J., was a mechanical engineer and inventor. He made numerous improvements in the design and construction of steamboats and designed a spring piling generally used in ferry-slip construction. He was chief engineer of the Camden and Amboy RR and imported from England the famous locomotive John Bull, now exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution. He also invented the T rail, the rail spike, and a new system of laying rails, all of which came into wide use in railroad track construction.

Edwin Augustus Stevens, 1795–1868, b. Hoboken, N.J., was closely associated with his father and his brother Robert in all these enterprises. He was also noted for initiating the construction of a railroad from New York City to Philadelphia, as the inventor of the Stevens plow, and as a pioneer builder of ironclad warships. He founded the Stevens Institute of Technology.

See biography of John Stevens by A. D. Turnbull (1928, repr. 1973).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Stevens
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.