Product Details

Over the Alleghenies: Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania
Robert J. Kapsch
West Virginia Univ Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2013-11-26 13:05:58
Retail Price:
Our Price:
Untitled Document

Over the Alleghenies

Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania

By Robert J. Kapsch.

Softcover, 8.5x10", 376 pages, 134 maps & line art images. 2013.

"Between 1826 and 1858 the state of Pennsylvania built and operated the largest and most technologically advanced system of canals and railroads in North America – almost one thousand miles of transport that stretched from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and beyond.

"The construction of this ambitious transportation system was accompanied by great euphoria. It was widely believed that the revenue created from these canals and railroads would eliminate the need for all taxes on state citizens. Yet with the Panic of 1837, a financial crisis much like the boom and bust cycle that ended in 2008, a deep recession fell across the country. By 1858, Pennsylvania had sold all canals and railroads to private companies, often for pennies-on-the-dollar.

"Over the Alleghenies: Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania is the definitive history of the state of Pennsylvania’s incredible canal and railroad system. Although often condemned as a colossal failure, this construction effort remains an innovative, magnificent feat that ushered in modern transportation to Pennsylvania and the entire country. With extensive primary research, over one hundred illustrations, newspapers clippings, and charts and graphs, Over the Alleghenies examines and dissects the infrastructure project that bankrupted the wealthiest state in the Union."

Author Robert J. Kapsch holds doctorates in American studies, engineering, and architecture, as well as master’s degrees in historic preservation and management. Following this successful career as an historic architect and engineer for the National Park Service, Kapsch began a second career as an author, penning several books and articles on historic architecture and engineering, including The Potomac Canal: George Washington and the Waterway West, Historic Canals and Waterways of South Carolina, and CANALS, the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebook in Architecture, Design and Engineering.

Table of Contents

1. Early America and the Coming of the Transportation Revolution

2. The State of Pennsylvania’s Program of Canals and Railroads (1826-1858)

3. The Eastern Division of the Pennsylvania Canal

4. The Western Division of the Pennsylvania Canal

5. The Juniata Division of the Pennsylvania Canal

6. The Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad

7. The Allegheny Portage Railroad

8. The Susquehanna, West Branch, and North Branch Divisions

9. The Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal

10. Pittsburgh to Lake Erie — The French Creek Division, the Beaver Division, and the Erie Extension

11. The Gettysburg Extension and the Demise of the State of Pennsylvania’s Canals and Railroads



About the Author