The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 enabled the American empire to grow, fueling development in Upstate New York and much of the Midwest. The press called the project a waste of money.
The Erie Canal paved the way for farming towns in Upstate New York to become centers of industry. Ore came from the West and was converted into steel by generations of laborers.
New Yorkers realized if they built a canal from the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, the city would be the most prosperous port in America. Signs of the industry that thrived started to disappear in the early 20th century.
There was increased advocacy for the rights of blacks and women in Upstate New York in the 1840s. A large convention on women’s rights occurred in Seneca Falls in 1848. The region suffered deindustrialization in the 20th century as mill owners sought cheaper labor elsewhere.
The Erie Canal reduced shipping costs by 90%, turning New York into the most important industrial hub on the continent. It led to the development of better grain elevators, allowing Buffalo to become the world's greatest grain port.
A major waterfront project was developed to revitalize the Erie Canal’s western terminus. The Flight of Five locks were restored and the Seneca Knitting Mill became the Knitting Hall of Fame.
Credits: Boom and Bust
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This is the story of industrial expansion and decline along the Erie Canal, in the words of workers in steel, grain, textiles and shipping.
Length: 31 minutes
Copyright date: ©2015
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.
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