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The point of Pittsburgh, where the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the Ohio River, circa 1900.
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Color postcard of The Point Pittsburgh, Pa. at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, forming the Ohio River.

Credit: Courtesy of the Pemnsylvania State Archives

As the new nation looked westward in the decades which followed the American War for Independence, few innovations had a more profound effect on emerging America than the steam-powered riverboat. With navigable waters down the Ohio and then the Mississippi River all the way to New Orleans, Pittsburgh in the early 1800s became a major hub for commerce with America's vast western frontier.

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