October 31, 2006
MARK ALAN Hughes' spirited op-ed defense of Philadelphia's honor against the silly depredations of Julia Vitullo-Martin requires a couple of clarifications. The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, is not the "economic and geographic explanation of how New York City replaced Philadelphia as the nation's economic capital in the beginning of the 19th century. " New York passed Philadelphia as the most populous American city around 1807, before anyone had even proposed a canal to Lake Erie.
March 4, 2006 |
The Federal-style brick house went up in 1815 by an orchard at the edge of New Hope. In 1830, hordes of workers dug a canal 15 feet away. "It would be like a turnpike coming through," said owner John Byers, who researched the property before renovating. Indeed, the Delaware Canal carried one million tons of coal on 3,000 mule-drawn barges a year at its pre-Civil War peak, more freight than the famed Erie Canal. The house was converted for storage, then back to a house when railroads put the canal out of business a century later.
June 26, 2005 |
Nearly six months before the Erie Canal was completed in the fall of 1825, the section of the 108-mile-long Schuylkill Canal that ran through Montgomery and Chester Counties opened to a flood of newspaper stories with celebratory headlines. Local reporters predicted "the dawn of a new era" and described the winding section as resembling a "great serpent" twisting itself and "glistening" in the sun. In the months that followed, there were new professions to describe - lock tenders, barge captains, mule skinners - and new operations to detail.
June 16, 2005 |
Question: What kind of lock can be opened without a key? Answer: A canal lock. Children in the 1800s would have had an easy time answering this old-time riddle. Today we would hear all sorts of responses - from padlocks to push-button locks to any lock as long as you have the right "tools. " Canal locks don't immediately come to 21st-century minds, but they are still around and still play important roles. They fall into three general categories - immense utilitarian locks (think Panama Canal)
July 24, 2000 |
Nearly six months before the Erie Canal opened in the fall of 1825, the section of the 108-mile-long Schuylkill Canal that ran through Chester County opened to a flood of newspaper stories with celebratory headlines. Local reporters predicted "the dawn of a new era" and described the winding section that ran from Laurel Locks, near Pottstown, to Parkerford as resembling a "great serpent" twisting itself and "glistening" in the sun. In months to come, there would be new professions to describe - lock tenders, barge captains, muleskinners - and new operations to detail.
October 6, 1994 |
The Coatesville Train Station may never see the traffic it did during its prime - when dozens of trains passed through each day, some of them a hundred cars long. But at least it soon will look as if it is in its prime. Thanks to a combination of federal, state, county and private funding totaling $540,000, the station's decaying platform and stairways will be repaired and canopies will be added to protect passengers from the weather. The Chester County commissioners were expected to approve the final $15,000 for the project yesterday.
August 7, 1994 |
Low bridge, ev'rybody down. Low bridge, for we're going through a town. And you'll always know your neighbor, You'll always know your pal, If you've ever navigated on the Erie Canal. - Refrain from "(Fifteen Miles on) the Erie Canal. " Standing on the top deck of the Emita II, I can't get that chorus out of my head; my mind just keeps playing it over and over. I learned it in grammar school, in the town where I grew up - an Upstate New York village perched on the banks of the Erie Canal.
September 12, 1993 |
Some environmentalists are encouraging a tourist boycott of Norway because of a whaling policy. Earth Island Institute, an eco-group based in San Francisco, is backing the tourism boycott because Norway is allowing residents of its Lofoten Islands to kill whales despite an international moratorium. The boycott also has the support of Greenpeace International. The U.S. branch of Greenpeace, rather than promoting a boycott by Americans, says it is lobbying for trade sanctions against Norway.
March 24, 1991 |
There's perhaps no better way to begin the story of why Pennsylvania's transportation network is such a mess than by recounting the somewhat appalling (yet very instructive) true story of how the Main Line really got its name. Before moving here 20 years ago the only thing I knew about the Main Line is that it was built along some railroad line, and I just assumed that it was arrayed along the tracks leading from Washington to New York. This may reflect the fact that I was born in New York and was coming here from Washington, but frankly the possibility that the Main Line would be arrayed along what has become the Harrisburg Spur had never occurred to me because I had never thought of Philadelphia as a major gateway leading west.
March 12, 1990 |
On March 9, 1832, a 23-year-old candidate for the Illinois General Assembly told Sangamon County voters "my sentiments with regard to local affairs. " His first sentiment was "the public utility of internal improvements," particularly "the opening of good roads (and) the clearing of navigable streams. " Thus did Abraham Lincoln's public life commence with concern about what is now called "infrastructure. " Today Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner, from Illinois, has the challenging task of selling a taxaphobic nation on the rationality of spending much more on infrastructure.