The Erie Canal - Canvass White

The Erie Canal - Canvass White (HM2N1E)

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N 43° 3.227', W 76° 0.018'

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Historic New York

When work on the Erie Canal began in 1817, little was known about canal engineering, and construction depended on the ingenuity of many persons. Canvass White (1796-1834), a surveyor, greatly facilitated canal construction by perfecting a "meagre limestone" that could be used to form a mortar which hardened under water. His discovery of this abundant, easily prepared waterproof cement immensely improved construction techniques.
The Erie was a practical school for acquiring engineering knowledge. Resourceful contractors, surveyors and local workmen planned the canal through a wilderness. They drove stakes, bored holes, felled trees, pulled stumps, blasted rocks and dug in swamps. They built canal banks, towpaths, waste weirs, culverts, aqueducts, locks and gates.
When they finished in 1825, they had constructed a 363-mile canal across the State. It was considered the foremost engineering achievement of the time. Western New York flourished with new, cheap transportation. The canal insured the place of New York City as the nation's greatest port and city, and it hastened development of the Mid-West.
The modernized State Barge Canal System, consisting of the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals, was completed in 1918.
HM NumberHM2N1E
Year Placed1967
Placed ByState Education Department, Department of Public Works
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 18th, 2019 at 7:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 418538 N 4767272
Decimal Degrees43.05378333, -76.00030000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 3.227', W 76° 0.018'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 3' 13.62" N, 76° 0' 1.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
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