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Aqueduct of the Pennsylvania Canal Below Harrisburg, PA, 1868, by Russell Smith.
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Aqueduct of the Pennsylvania Canal Below Harrisburg, PA, 1868, by Russell Smith. Oil on canvas.

Credit: Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Gift of the William A. Coulter Fund

As canals lost their economic importance they became symbols of a simpler, quieter, and slower way of life marginalized by the railroads. Reduced to pleasure boating and swimming, canals also became popular subjects for landscape painters.

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