Where Was The First Flatboat Used?


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A flatboat is a boat with a flat bottom and square ends. It is used for carrying freights on inland waterways. Flatboats began first as canoes, rafts and pirogues.

In the year 1782, Jacob Yoder, a Pennsylvania German, set sail from the Monongahela country with the first flatboat trip down to Ohio and Mississippi. The original flatboat measures only 4 to 6 feet in width. It was constructed with the help of green oak plank. There were no iron or nails involved; the boat was made by wooden pins which fastened the heavy oak planks. The seams were closed with the help of tar or pitch. Due to its construction, the first flatboat was used only for descending down the river. As times flew, flatboats began to be used with regularity.

The first flatboat with goods was floated down the Miami River. It was constructed by David Loire at Dayton in 1799. The boat was loaded with venison, grains and pelts. Flatboats were mostly used during the spring floods. The products that were mostly transported were whiskey, flour and pork which would be sold at ports like New Orleans.

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