Tripti Joshi

Canvass White

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Nationality  United States
Education  Fairfield Academy
Role  Engineer

Name  Canvass White
Siblings  Hugh White
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Born  September 8, 1790Whitestown, New York
Died  December 18, 1834, St. Augustine, Florida, United States
Significant projects  Delaware and Raritan Canal
People also search for  Benjamin Wright, Hugh White, Hamilton Fulton

Significant advance  Hydraulic cement

Canvass White (September 8, 1790 – December 18, 1834) was an American engineer and inventor. He was chief engineer at the Delaware and Raritan Canal, and he patented a type of hydraulic cement.


Early life and family

White was born on September 8, 1790, in Whitestown, New York to Hugh White, Jr. (January 16, 1763 - April 7, 1827) and Tryphena Lawrence White (July 4, 1768 - March 30, 1800, a native of Canaan, Connecticut).

He received his education at the Fairfield Academy.


White's first job as an engineer was on the Erie Canal in 1816, working for chief engineer Judge Benjamin Wright. In the autumn of 1817, he travelled to England to study their canal system. When he returned he patented a type of hydraulic cement. He continued his work in New York until 1824. From 1824 until the summer of 1826, he was Chief Engineer on the Union Canal in Pennsylvania. He was appointed Chief Engineer of the Delaware and Raritan Canal in 1825 and of the Lehigh Canal in 1827. He was also a consulting engineer for the Schuylkill Navigation Company and for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. He became President of the Cohoes Company when it was incorporated on March 28, 1826.

Of White, author Bill Bryson writes, "the great unsung Canvass White didn't just make New York rich; more profoundly, he helped make America."


Works of White's that survive include:

  • Carbon County Section of the Lehigh Canal, along Lehigh River Weissport and vicinity, PA, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
  • Enfield Canal, along Connecticut River from Windsor Locks N to Thompsonville Windsor Locks, CT, NRHP-listed
  • Lehigh Canal, Lehigh Gap to S Walnutport boundary Walnutport, PA, NRHP-listed
  • Lehigh Canal, Walnutport to Allentown section, Allentown and vicinity, PA, NRHP-listed
  • Lehigh Canal: eastern section, Glendon and Abbott Street industrial sites, Lehigh River from Hopeville to confluence of Lehigh and Delaware Rivers Easton, PA, NRHP-listed
  • Lehigh Canal; Allentown to Hopeville Section, along Lehigh River, Bethlehem, PA, NRHP-listed
  • Union Canal Tunnel, west of Lebanon off PA 72 Lebanon, PA, NRHP-listed
  • Death

    White died in 1834 and was buried in Princeton Cemetery.


    Canvass White Wikipedia

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