Dismal Swamp Canal (Primary Title)
Salmon’s depiction of a steam-powered tourist boat navigating the Dismal Swamp Canal captures the Jacksonian era’s confidence in technology and commerce. One of the great engineering feats of its day, the twenty- two-mile channel connected the intercoastal waterways of Virginia and North Carolina. The Boston-based painter did not travel south to capture the scene in person, but relied on an on-site sketch by Norfolk artist Thomas Williamson. The image, soon marketed as a print, became an icon of technological progress. It appeared in miniature form on paper currency of several states, often balanced with depictions of steam locomotives or factories.
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