September 10, 1823 The Champlain Canal in New York was officially opened in its entirety. The preliminary surveys for the development of this 60-mile (96.6 kilometer)-long canal, which connects the southern end of Lake Champlain with the Hudson River, had been conducted on behalf of the Empire State by an engineer named Colonel Lewis Garin.... Continue Reading →

July 27, 1914 The steamship SS Pleiades, part of the fleet of the Luckenbach Steamship Company, left San Francisco for what ultimately proved to be a record-setting voyage to New York City. Pleaides, carrying 5,000 tons (4,535.9 metric tons) of cargo on board, became the first ship in regular commercial traffic to sail from the... Continue Reading →

December 21, 1804 The Rochdale Canal in northern England was officially opened. The plans for this canal had been prepared by civil engineer John Rennie, with the Rochdale Canal Company established in 1794 to coordinate the construction of the new waterway. While Rennie developed the designs for the Rochdale Canal, it has been widely acknowledged... Continue Reading →

October 22, 1730 Construction on the original Ladoga Canal, located in the part of northwestern Russia now known as Leningrad Oblast, was completed. The purpose of this transportation route was to link the Neva and Volkhov Rivers and also to allow vessels to bypass the often stormy waters of nearby Lake Ladoga, which was prone to... Continue Reading →

August 3, 1916 In Washington State, the snag steamer Swinomish became the first ship to pass through a complex of locks for the section of the Lake Washington Ship Canal at the west end of Salmon Bay and between the Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard and Magnolia. (A snag steamer is a vessel built to clear... Continue Reading →

July 13, 1825 Construction on the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Canal officially began. The groundbreaking for the canal took place near Kingston, New York, located about 90 miles (144.8 kilometers) north of New York City. The new waterway was built as a key transportation link between the coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania and the ports of New... Continue Reading →

June 20, 1895 The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal, which has been known as the Kiel Canal since 1948, was officially opened in what was then the German Empire (now part of the Federal Republic of Germany). This 61-mile (98-kilometer)-long canal, located at the base of Northern Europe’s Jutland Peninsula in the present-day German state of Schleswig-Holstein, connects the... Continue Reading →

April 10, 1848   The Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal was first opened to navigation when the freight boat General Fry traveled northwest along the recently completed route from the town of Lockport to the then-small city of Chicago. While the formal dedication of the I&M Canal would not take place until six days later, the... Continue Reading →

November 5, 1896 The Cascade Locks and Canal, which were built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officially opened on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. The key reason for the navigation project was the need for more efficient and uninterrupted transportation along the Columbia River to help further develop the economic well-being of... Continue Reading →

October 26, 1825 The Erie Canal was fully opened to boat traffic. The 363-mile (584-kilometer) inland waterway, connecting Lake Erie to New York City via the Hudson River, was built to provide a faster and more direct means of transportation between the Eastern seaboard and the vast areas of land west of the Appalachian Mountains. Prior... Continue Reading →

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