Working on the Erie Canal

The Erie Canal had a substantial and enduring impact on the economic development of New York State, as well as the United States as a whole. This collection provides insight into the lives of those who worked on the Erie Canal from the 1820s to the 1930s, from the early days of canal enlargement to the industrial age of the Barge Canal. Through photographs, receipts, contracts, and other ephemera, this collection provides insight into the operation of the Erie Canal as workers faced winter weather, advances in boat construction, competition from other modes of transportation, among other obstacles. From the surveyors and construction workers who built the canal to the lock operators and administrators who managed the canal's operations, this collection depicts the Erie Canal and its workers as agents of progress and transformation.

Collection owner: Erie Canal Museum