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Lecture: "Enterprising Waters: New York's Erie Canal"
"Enterprising Waters: New York State's Erie Canal"
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 | 7:00 PM | Wooden Boat School Classroom
$5/person | HRMM Members FREE
The Erie Canal directed the course of New York and American history. When it opened in 1825, this “boldest and biggest American engineering project of its century” unlocked the Western interior for trade and settlement. Boomtowns sprang up along the canal’s path and New York City, with its deep harbor connecting to the Hudson River, grew to be the nation’s most powerful center of international trade.
One of the largest public works projects in American history, the Erie Canal inspired a nation-wide transportation revolution. Thousands of people poured into New York to work on or along the canal, or just to pass through. Though the canal would eventually be superseded by the railroad, a heady mixture of innovation and determination, and the industrious seeking and creation of wealth, was cemented in the American character.
Brad Utter, Senior Historian and Curator at the New York State Museum will discuss the museum’s exhibit, “Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal” and forthcoming exhibit catalog. Utter will give an overview canal history, the exhibit itself, and highlight some of the special artifacts and stories included in the show.
Brad L. Utter is the Senior Historian/Curator of Science and Technological History at the New York State Museum. His areas of research revolve around the development of industry and transportation in the State of New York and how that development impacted the lives of New Yorkers. For the past 5 years, he have focused on the New York State canal system as part of the new two-phase exhibit at the State Museum on the Erie Canal - "Enterprising Waters." The exhibit coincides with the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal construction.
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