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From the time he was young, Robert Fulton liked to work with his hands. For a while he thought he wanted to be an artist, but it was hard to make a living as a painter. Fulton turned to inventing things, including a very early version of the submarine. He is most famous for building the first practical steamboat. Others had tried and failed, but his North River Steam Boat was successful. It sailed regularly between New York City and Albany, the capital of New York. The success of the North River Steam Boat inspired Fulton to build other steamboats, improving commerce for the nation and the world.