Modern Marvels

Season 7 Episode 22

The Erie Canal

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Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Aug 14, 2000 on The History Channel
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The Erie Canal
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It was a 363-mile highway linking the western frontier to the Atlantic seaboard. It shaped the history of the nation and transformed New York City from a minor seaport into a commercial capital. THE ERIE CANAL was as important an engineering project as has ever been undertaken. MODERN MARVELSTM ventures back to the early days of the 19th century to tell its complete, captivating story. Despite its ambitious intent, it was originally derided as "Clinton's Folly," referring to New York governor Dewitt Clinton, who spearheaded efforts to create the canal. Just eight years later, in 1825, newspapers declared the recently completed canal "The Eighth Wonder of the World." It immediately proved its worth, generating millions of dollars in tolls, opening up the interior of the state to development and spurring the creation of new towns. For years, it remained the commercial backbone of the region, and today, it is a treasure house of history, an invaluable reminder of a vanished era. From the first shovel of dirt to its survival into the 21st century, this is the extraordinary story of THE ERIE CANAL.moreless
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