Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Erie Canal commemorative plate

Enlarge Image
Erie Canal commemorative plate
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Richard Strauss, Negative #: 2003-19231


This object appears in the following sections:

Transportation in America before 1876:
Transportation in America before 1876 — Connecting the Growing Nation

Erie Canal at Buffalo commemorative plate
Catalog #: 62.926A, Accession #: 171126
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Ralph Stevenson based the scene featured on this plate on a sketch by Captain Basil Hall and engraved by W. H. Lizars, which was featured in a book Forty Etchings from Sketches Made with the Camera Lucida in North America in 1827-1828.
Physical Description

Dimensions: 10 1/4 inches diameter, 1 1/8 inches height

Materials: white glazed earthenware

Black transfer decorated plate featuring a view of the Erie Canal at Buffalo.

Date Made:
about 1829
New York
Gift of Ellouise Baker Larsen

When workers began digging the Erie, the longest existing canal in the U.S. measured 28 miles long. In contrast, the Erie Canal was planned to extend over 300 miles, connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie, the East Coast with the frontier. The canal was funded by the state of New York. Even before it officially opened in 1825, the canal began to generate income. The Erie Canal gave 19th-century New York an edge over other commercial port cities on the Atlantic coast. The Erie canal's success encouraged canal building elsewhere, and by 1840, the United States had 3,326 miles of canals.

Related People, Places, and Events
Ralph Stevenson

Ellouise Baker Larsen

Place of Manufacture

Place Pictured
Erie Canal at Buffalo

National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | Buy the Book | E-mail Signup | Credits