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Why was the Erie Canal so transforming? Mikus 2015 Mikus 2010

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Presentation on theme: "Why was the Erie Canal so transforming? Mikus 2015 Mikus 2010"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why was the Erie Canal so transforming? Mikus 2015 Mikus 2010

2 Background Information
The canal was begun in 1817 and finished in 1825. The cost was $7 million. The canal was built with shovels and horses, largely by immigrant workers.

3 Method of Travel In the 1800s, travel was often by horse and cart. This is a picture from Upstate New York in the mid-1800s.

4 The Appalachian Mountains

5 New York City: Shipping Capital
New York City became a shipping capital as a result of the canal.

6 Erie Canal: Location The route linked the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes.

7 The Great Lakes The Great Lakes opened the western part of the state and the Midwest to settlement.

8 The Hudson River The canal route was 363 miles, beginning at the Hudson River and ending at Lake Erie in Buffalo. The Hudson River begins in New York.


10 Map of the Erie Canal There were 83 locks on the Erie Canal.
There were 83 locks on the Erie Canal. They were able to lift a boat 570 feet. The Erie Canal was 364 miles long.

11 Cut-Away of a Barge This is a model of a barge.
This cut-away shows where the animal would live. If you look closely, you can see a man on the top of the barge.

12 Cut-Away of a Barge 2 This is another cut-away photograph of a model barge. This shows the area where the family would live. If you look closely, you can see a woman sweeping the floor.

13 Pulling the Barges The barges were pulled by horses or mules, although mules were more popular because they were more sure-footed.

14 Hoggees Guide the Animals
This was before gasoline engines so boats were pulled by mules or horses. Boys as young as 8 worked as “hoggees” guiding the animals.

15 Hoggee and Horse Hoggees were expected to walk for 6 hours a day. (2 shifts a day) Hoggees also cleaned and fed the horses. It was a hard life.

16 An Outfitted Mule This is a museum reproduction of a mule at the time of the Erie Canal. The mule has a harness and the equipment to pull a barge.

17 Hoggee Jobs The hoggees would walk for 15 miles.
When they weren’t leading a barge, they would be responsible for holding the tail of the animal helping the animal to get on and off the barge.

18 Pictures of the Erie Canal

19 Families Work the Canal
Many canal boats were run by families. Mothers and daughters cooked and cleaned. Fathers and sons operated the boats, loaded cargo, and took care of the animals. Families lived on the barges.

20 More Views of the Barges
The top picture shows barges tied together for the trip down the Hudson to New York City. The laundry is hung out to dry.

21 Education of Younger Kids
Often families lived in the back part of the barge. Kids may have gone to school during the off season, and sometimes they were schooled by family.

22 Products and People Travel the Erie Canal
Boats traveling to Albany carried salt, flour, coal, wood, iron, and other products. Factories sent goods to the west and also people, many from Ireland and Germany. In 1826, there are 3,000 Irish working the Erie Canal.

23 How a Lock Works

24 A Tour of the Erie Canal with Song

25 Why was the Erie Canal so transforming?
The use of the Erie Canal and water power brought enormous social and economic changes. People were able to move to the western part of the country west of the Appalachian Mountains. (Timber, minerals and fertile land for farming in the states that would become Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.) New York became the shipping capital of the Northeast. (Before the canal, New York was 5th after Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.)

26 Transforming, continued
Goods could be moved from NY to Buffalo and beyond more quickly and for less money. (Goods could be shipped from the western territories to NY as well.) Freight rates from Buffalo to NY went from $100 a ton to $10 a ton. In 1829, almost 3,640 bushels of wheat were transported from Buffalo. By 1837, there were 500,000 bushels, and by 1841 there were 1,000,000 bushels shipped! Cities along the canal route prospered.

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