A visual history of the Erie Canal

Welcome to 40x4x28, a visual exploration of the most consequential public infrastructure project in American history. The Erie Canal, originally completed nearly 200 years ago, forever altered the face and character of the United States. These landscapes capture glimpses of places along its path at specific moments in time.

I’m pleased to announce the opening of our online store, where you can purchase high-quality prints of these Erie Canal scenes. Fine-art giclée prints, made with fade-resistant inks on archival paper, are available in unmounted and framed versions. Large (24×17) and small (19×13) posters, printed on photo satin paper, are also available. I appreciate your support!

And please check out my blog, which documents my research and work in progress.


Seneca River Crossing

The towpath bridge at Montezuma stretches across the sluggish waters of the Seneca River in the early morning hours of June 15, 1824. It has been in regular use since the previous season, allowing packets, freighters, and other Erie Canal boats to navigate the entire distance from Albany to Brockport, about twenty miles west of …

Wagons ho!

The Erie Canal was built across an early American landscape increasingly crisscrossed by turnpike roads. The rough, privately built highways threaded their way through narrow valleys as they made their way into the interior of New York and Pennsylvania. Gradually, they enabled trade between far-flung frontier settlements and the port cities of the east coast. …