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Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Allegheny Aqueduct

 
 
Allegheny Aqueduct Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
1. Allegheny Aqueduct Marker
Inscription. The Pennsylvania Canal across Pennsylvania was an engineering triumph with a spectacular 37-mile railroad portage over the Allegheny Mountains. For half a century between 1820 and the Civil War, packet boats pulled by mules navigated through the canal.

Canal boats crossed the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh on the world's first successful cable suspension aqueduct or "water bridge". When the original canal aqueduct collapsed into the river, John Roebling was hired to build a new one. Roebling became a world-renown bridge designer, famous for the 1879 Brooklyn Bridge. He invented "wire rope", a strong iron cable, and used it in all his bridges after his experiment here with the Allegheny Aqueduct in 1844.

Roebling's aqueduct consisted of a wood trough filled with water and suspended from two iron cables. The cables were strung in place, wire by wire, and then anchored in eyebars embedded in masonry. The aqueduct was 160 feet long and contained 2,000 tons of water. Six boats loaded with passengers and goods could cross the river at the same time.

As the aqueduct filled with water for the first time, the event attracted one of the most enthusiastic crowds Pittsburgh had ever witnessed. Over 10,000 spectators watched while 100 guns saluted the first boats to float across the new aqueduct.

As canal
Allegheny Aqueduct Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
2. Allegheny Aqueduct Marker
technology became obsolete, Roebling's aqueduct was demolished in 1861 when the expanding Pennsylvania Railroad put the canal out of business.
 
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, City of Pittsburgh, Clearview Federal Credit Union.
 
Location. 40° 26.955′ N, 79° 59.822′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker can be reached from North Shore Trail. Click for map. Marker is located on the North Shore Trail under the railroad bridge just west of the 16th Street (David McCullough) Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15212, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. 0.2 miles away); Frederick J Osterling Office & Studio (approx. 0.2 miles away); Timber Court (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pittsburgh's Grand Hall at the Priory (approx. mile away); The Pittsburgh Platform (approx. mile away); Ninth Street Bridge (approx. 0.3 miles away); Avery College (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hampton Battery Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pittsburgh.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
John Roebling, engineer, circa 1869 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
3. John Roebling, engineer, circa 1869
Map of Pennsylvania Canal System image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
4. Map of Pennsylvania Canal System
Patent drawing of the first aqueduct shown filled with water image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
5. Patent drawing of the first aqueduct shown filled with water
Detail drawing showing wire rope secured inside aqueduct's pier image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
6. Detail drawing showing wire rope secured inside aqueduct's pier
The use of wire cable attached to eyebars was developed by Roebling image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 26, 2015
7. The use of wire cable attached to eyebars was developed by Roebling
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 246 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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