On this day 14th of October in 1788 the first steamboat experiment was held on Dalswinton Loch, Dumfries and Galloway.
Robert Burns was farming at Ellisland, just outside Dumfries, when he was invited by his landlord, Patrick Miller, to go out in a small experimental steamboat.
The boat, which was fitted with an engine designed by William Symington, was the first paddle-propelled steamboat in the world, and Robert Burns was one of its first passengers. Scotclans
Steamboats, Viaducts and Railways
By William Wordsworth, 1833
Motions and Means, on land and sea at war
With old poetic feeling, not for this,
Shall ye, by Poets even, be judged amiss!
Nor shall your presence, howsoe’er it mar
The loveliness of Nature, prove a bar
To the Mind’s gaining that prophetic sense
Of future change, that point of vision, whence
May be discovered what in soul ye are.
In spite of all that beauty may disown
In your harsh features, Nature doth embrace
Her lawful offspring in Man’s art; and Time,
Pleased with your triumphs o’er his brother Space,
Accepts from your bold hands the proffered crown
Of hope, and smiles on you with cheer sublime.