Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Erie Canal and the internet: any comparison?

Originally uploaded by JKFisher
In 1825 the advent of the Erie Canal made a huge impact on NYC and much of the US. Suddenly goods could cheaply flow across the Northern states - from, say, Chicago to NYC harbor.

Enormous wealth was created by the existence of the Erie Canal, for it connected a vast farmland (providing timber and produce to the city) and the consumer products (ploughs, pots & pans, fiddles, etc) being manufactured in the cities.

When goods and investment money reached NYC it connected to the world via ships on the Atlantic.

Compare the impact of the Erie Canal (365 miles from Albany to Buffalo) with that of the world wide web. Both have produced effeciency in communication and wealth via trade.

For more on the birth of the web, see the bio of British mathematician Tim Berners-Lee.

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