National Canal Museum

Canal History Blog

National Canal Museum - The Impact of Irish Immigrants on the Development of Pennsylvania

Although fascinating, canal history remains one of the hidden stories of America's past. Yet canals were integral to the country's growth, providing the first long-distance "highways" that penetrated America's interior. Their importance was short-lived but came at a time when the United States was establishing itself as an industrial power. Without canals and their ability to transfer natural resources, manufactured products, and thousands of immigrants seeking a new life, America's transition from a farm-based economy to one based on heavy industry would have been delayed by several decades.