Canvass White

(From: Whitford's History of New York Canals, 1906, Vol II, page 1170)


WHITE, Canvass, born, Sept. 8, 1790, at Whitestown, Oneida Co., N.Y.; educated at Fairfield Academy, died in 1834.

Mr. White's first engineering work was on the Erie Canal in 1816 under Judge Benjamin Wright. He continued engineering on the New York State canals until 1824. During this time, in the autumn of 1817, he went to England to examine and study the canals of that country. After his return from England, he discovered and patented hydralic cement. His achievements in this and other engineering matters are told elsewhere in this volume. From 1824 to the latter part of the summer of 1826, he was Chief Engineer on the Union canal; was appointed Chief Engineer of the Delaware and Raritan canal in 1825 and of the Lehigh canal in 1827. About this time Mr. White was also Consulting Engineer for the Schuylkill Navigation Company and for the Delaware and Chesapeake canal. he became President of the Cohoes Company for the development of water-power at Cohoes upon its incorporation March 28, 1826.

For references in Whitford's volume 1, search for White in Chapter 1 and Chapter 24.

The best source is: William Pierrepont White, "Canvass White's Services" in Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, 1909, Vol 13, page 352-366.

Also see: Albert C. Jensen, "Engineering Clinton's Ditch" in Civil Engineering, vol 33, Sept 1963, pages 48-50. The great cement industry in the United States traces its beginnings to the Erie Canal.


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