On this day in 1811, the first steam-powered ferryboat was put into operation between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey.
Christened The Juliana, the ferry was named after the daughter of its designer, the pioneering engineer and inventor, Col. John Stevens. Stevens moved to Hoboken from New York in the early 1780s. During the journey, the colonel grew frustrated with the slow pace on the sea and was inspired to create something better.
In 1788, Stevens saw an experimental steamboat travelling on the Delaware River, and was inspired to research the young technology. His focus on steam power could be maddening to those around him, including his wife.