National Canal Museum to Debut New Exhibit Room on July 4

EASTON (June 14) – A new changing exhibits gallery will open at the National Canal Museum in Hugh Moore Park, Easton on July 4. The room’s inaugural exhibit – “The ‘Untryed’ Enterprise: Forging America’s Industrial Independence” – chronicles the beginning of America’s Industrial Revolution in eastern Pennsylvania through a collection of artifacts, paintings, models and a new video production based on the lives of entrepreneurs Josiah White and Erskine Hazard, the men responsible for the mining, transportation and industrial use of anthracite coal in the greater Lehigh Valley.

The exhibit is supported by the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc. (D&L), with funding provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The July 4 opening coincides with the 175th anniversary of the first casting of pig iron in North America in an anthracite-fueled hot-air blast furnace. The casting took place in 1840 at the Lehigh Crane Iron Company in Biery’s Bridge, now present-day Catasauqua.

“This is an exciting exhibit to open our new room,” said Dennis Scholl, Director of Education and Museum Services for the D&L. “Many historians view the event in Catasauqua as the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution. Once that first cast was made, the revolution was on and the Lehigh Valley was at its forefront.”

The new room, which will also serve as a classroom and meeting room, was designed by Exhibit America of Nazareth, PA. “The Untryed Enterprise” exhibit will run through September 30. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The exhibit room opening is part of a larger July 4 event designed to encourage people to bring their holiday picnics to Hugh Moore Park, where all pavilions are open free-of-charge. A variety of activities have been arranged for visitors between 12 and 5 p.m. The exhibit room will open at 12 noon, followed by the cutting of a 100-serving canal boat cake. There will also be blacksmith demonstrations by Ed Land of Easton; coal and canal songs and stories by singer Jay Smar of Jim Thorpe; mule “talks” with park mules Hank and George; canal boat rides on the Josiah White II; tours of the National Canal Museum; tours of the locktender’s house at the Chain Dam; 19th-century games for children; bike, canoe and paddleboat rentals, and old-fashioned ice cream making. The Love Food Truck Company of Skippack, PA, will have a variety of food and drinks for sale.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that preserves historic pathways that carried coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia. Today, the D&L Trail connects people to nature, culture, communities, recreation and our industrial heritage.


For more information, please contact:

Terri Monserrat

Research & Development Assistant

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

2750 Hugh Moore Park Rd. Easton, PA

610.923.3548 ex: 224 or gro.hgiheldnaerawalednull@irret

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