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Catalog Data

Unidentified Artist  Search this
John Stevens, 1749 - 6 Mar 1838  Search this
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 92.1 x 74.3 x 2.5cm (36 1/4 x 29 1/4 x 1")
Frame: 118.7 x 100.3 x 12.1cm (46 3/4 x 39 1/2 x 4 3/4")
c. 1830
Exhibition Label:
Revolutionary War colonel John Stevens, trained in the law and self-educated as an engineer, was a pioneer in steam-engine experimentation. In 1804 his small steamboat, Little Juliana, operated by twin-screw propellers, made a successful trip across the Hudson and back to the New Jersey shore. Barred by the monopoly held by Robert Fulton from operating on the Hudson River, Stevens in 1808 sent his paddle steamer Phoenix-the first completely American-built steam engine-to Philadelphia by sea and opened a steamship line between that city and Trenton. In 1825 Stevens designed the first American-built steam locomotive, operating it, at the rate of over twelve miles per hour, on a circular track on his estate in Hoboken to demonstrate the feasibility of steam (as a replacement for horses) to power railroad transportation.
H. H. Walker Lewis, Baltimore [1904-1999, descendant]; gift 1975 NPG
Interior  Search this
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair  Search this
Home Furnishings\Drape  Search this
John Stevens: Male  Search this
John Stevens: Science and Technology\Inventor  Search this
John Stevens: Science and Technology\Engineer\Mechanical  Search this
John Stevens: Science and Technology\Navigator\Ship\Steamship  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of H.H. Walker Lewis in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A.S. Lewis
Object number:
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View:
NPG, East Gallery 136
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery