NYS Archives | Partnership Trust | Education Department | Office of Cultural Education | NYS Home 
New York State Archives
Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

Questions: 1825

Documents 5 and 6. Erie Canal Celebration Commemorative Plate and Wallpaper.

Image. Erie Canal. 1825 Commemorative Plate.

Commemorative Plate

This plate was made to commemorate the 1825 opening of the Erie Canal. The picture on the plate shows canal boats waiting to enter the Erie Canal lock at Albany.

The original Canal was 363 miles long and had eighty-three locks (locks raised and lowered boats). The Erie Canal cost $7,143,000, but it soon paid for itself with the tolls collected from boats traveling the canal.

See how a lock works

Read Building the "Grand Canal"

Image. Erie Canal. Wallpaper.

Commemorative Wallpaper

This is a picture of the Erie Canal aqueduct at Rochester, New York. In Rochester, the Erie Canal had to cross the Genesee River. The Canal went east and west across New York State, although the Genesee River runs south to north, so an aqueduct was built to carry the Canal across the river.

The aqueduct made it possible for the canal water to be separate from the river water. The Canal, with its water and boats, traveled above the river in the aqueduct. See a picture of the aqueduct. This picture of the Rochester aqueduct is printed on wallpaper, an indication that people wanted a souvenir (a reminder) of the Canal's accomplishments in their homes.

Link to printable version of these documents

  1. Describe the picture that is printed on this plate.
  2. Describe the picture on this piece of wallpaper.
  3. Why were these pictures printed on plates and wallpaper?

Document 4 | Intro