The canals had a relatively short life-span as the primary commercial transportation system in the United States. The Erie Canal system was the first to connect the east coast to the Great Lakes. Although commercial traffic on it is relatively limited today, the Erie Canal system still exists and can be traveled. This narrated slideshow featured on The Atlantic takes a look at the origins of the canal system and the current state of the canal. The video is embedded below.
Applications for Education
This narrated slideshow about the Erie Canal could be useful for anyone that is teaching US History. The canal system could be studied for its role in expansion of industry in the United States.