The North River, aka Clermont
Model by Frederick Aeschbacher
On Oct 15, 2007, at 3:50 PM, Pete Baker wrote:
I just received several photos of the 1808 North River model built by Fred Aeschbacher. In addition I received photo copies of all of his research papers.
Fred and I have been writing (snail mail) for about 5 months. I got involved with Fred as a result of an article he wrote for the June 1988 Nautical Research Journal. One of my searches turned up an index for the Journals. In that index Fred's article on the North River was listed. I contacted the Nautical Research Guild to see if they might copy the article for me. They responded that they didn't have that particular issue on hand. A few weeks later the secretary wrote me saying that they found a copy in a storage box in the basement of their office. She said that I could have the Journal for $3.00 to cover postage. It is now in my possession.
After reading the article I decided that it might be nice to have some colored photos of the model as it is the only one that reflects Fulton's 1808 version of his steamboat. I wrote back to the NRG to ask if they knew where the model is displayed and if Frederick Aeschbacher was still alive. Their response was "We don't know"!
I then put "Frederick Aeschbacher" into www.zabasearch.com. It came up with a upstate NY address, the Rochester area. I wrote a letter to see if he was the model maker. It turned out that he is. Fred is 96 years young and still quite active. In his reply Fred indicated that he had donated his model and papers to the Fulton Birthplace Museum in Lancaster County, PA. When I wrote the Southern Lancaster County Historical Society they said they didn't know the where abouts of Fred's donation. When I told Fred he said that the museum should indeed have his model. In my second letter to SOLANCO I asked for a contact at the Museum. That contact was aware of the model and Fred's research papers. She and a photo archivist copied all of the documents and took some 20 digital photos of the model. I have attached a couple of the photos and a copy of his drawing.
West Hurley, NY
PS: The Birthplace Museum asked me to copy them with any Fulton info and photos for their Fulton Collection.
Editor's Note: Click here to see the full-size plans for this model.