Big Turnout for the january 24th meeting!

  • Gail presided.
  • Speaker - Erik Fleischer - Jon Fitch Museum


Event Updates

  • Car show meeting on 1/25 at 7pm at CB Ambulance on East St.
  • First two February morning meetings will be held at Altomonte's, not Coach's.
  • One big day in March:  the 17th.
    • Borough dam cleanup March 17th. 
    • District gala at Pine Crest March 17th
    • Also Allen's 60th birthday !!
    • Rotary leadership institute also March 17th . 
  • Ro Molyneux. Designer house early May.  Date tbc.  Only 8 people can attend - I believe she mentioned arm wrestling or MMA cage fight elimination for those final eight spots, but I may be mistaken.


Member Announcements

  • Inge's daughter has been in Rawanda since 2016. In the Peace Corp focusing on education. She is a boarding school teacher there. She is there trying to raise money for a community basketball court and also to create a communal effort to make the court more gender neutral to allow girls to play as well. They are trying to raise $7200.  Always lovely to hear young folks with such generous outlooks.
  • Karen.  Switched banks! Note her address change on the Rotary website. 
  • Linda. 4WT committee has chosen its invitees, who have been notified.

John Fitch Presentation

  • John Fitch, for reasons unknown, ended up in Warminster (although that sentiment seems to be held for the next 200 years as per local Warminsterians...)
  • John was apparently a brilliant ne'er do well 
    • His apprenticeship fails
    • He tries surveying.  His three years of work covering a very large area is rejected by the government. He is however given 1600 acres instead of money.
    • John is captured by Indians on his way to New Orleans to sell flour. 
  • However, his steam boat idea struck him, seemingly randomly, while walking with his friend in Warminster from the Neshaminy Meeting house.  
  • He finds that the Newcomen steam engine was already invented in 1712 for mine clearing. 
  • Presents his first steamboat model to Ben Franklin in 1785 at the American Philosophical Society. 
  • Fitch raised $300 from fellow craftsmen. Craftsmen had not access to upper echelon contacts or wealth.
  • Launched his first steamboat in 1787. Used a paddle mechanism to mimic canoe travel. 
  • He raised no money beyond that, but did get himself a six state monopoly for 17 years.  
  • Ironically the day he tried to patent the steamboat after years of successful trips, he finds three other interlopers saying they also invented the patent (human deviancy never seems to disappoint).  All four parties are granted patents.  
  • Still he owned 1600 acres earned from his surveying.
  • He predicted that steam powered boats would cross the ocean and eventually power cars.  He was well over 200 years ahead of his time. 
  • First successful steamboat launched in 1807.
  • Well done.  Interesting presentation.  Thank you Erik
The Riders presenting Erik Fleischer with a Mercer Tile, following his presentation last night.