Saturday 13th July 1805
Oliver Evans tested his Evans Steam ‘Orukter Amphibolos’ (amphibious digger) in Philadelphia, US. Evans, an inventor of Welsh descent, drove his machine, the first self-propelled land vehicle in America, west from his shop at 9th and Market in Philadelphia to the Schuylkill River, parking it on the way for public display at the present location of City Hall. The amphibious digger was actually a steam-powered dredge weighing 17 tons, built for the city to deepen the Delaware River dock area. To deliver it from his shop to the working site, Evans equipped the Orukter with wheels driven by his most important invention, the high-pressure steam engine. After launching into the river at Market Street, the Orukter floated clear of its wheels and the steam engine was connected to a paddle wheel. The Orukter then steamed down to where the Schuylkill joins the Delaware, and upstream for 14 miles against the current before turning around and returning to the Philadelphia docks.