: An engraving depicting a flat bottom boat. The caption reads: "Grave par Tardieu l'aine. Sketch of a Flat bottom Boat; such as are used to descend the Ohio and the Mississippi." French part of the caption translates as "Engraved by Tardieu the elder" which indicates that it is most likely work of Jean Baptiste Pierre Tardieu (1746-1816), a prominent French cartographer and engraver.
Flat bottom boats or flatboats were rectangular boats intended for short term use. They were built without keels which made them less sturdy and harder to navigate. Their history dates back to May, 1782, when Pennsylvania farmer, Jacob Yoder, became the first person to successfully navigate a flatboat from Brownsville to New Orleans, proving they can be used for commercial shipping. By 1810 there were about 3000 flatboats descending the Ohio river and the boat building business was booming. Flatboats played a significant role in the history of America’s westward expansion. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL07754 Subjects
: Ohio River; Mississippi River; Boats; American frontier; Ohio Economy--Transportation and Development Places
: Flat bottom boat engraving