Erie: The Canal That Made America

About This Episode


The Erie Canal is one of the earliest transcendent tales of the American experience and an endeavor first scoffed at as nothing more than a ditch with a dirt path running beside it. The Erie Canal became the nation’s first great technical innovation and a gateway to prominence.

Erie: The Canal That Made America marks the bicentennial of the start of construction of the Erie Canal when surveyors and excavators began linking the young United States’ east to its west in 1817 and depicts how a young nation broke through with its first great crusade of ingenuity by willing an impossible-to-build, 363-mile man-made waterway to the American frontier.