The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Experiments in Transportation
Before the railroad, various modes of transportationvied for public use and support. In the 1820s, systems of canals sprung up in concert with steamships, whose advent provided profitable avenues of commercial transportation. Projects were supported by government contracts, often before the technology to create them was quite understood. Steamship and canal systems were short-lived however due to the rise in popularity of the railroad, and the many issues involved in the precursory system.