Diabetes Awareness Campaign: Trekking Along the Erie Canal.
North Tonawanda
Pendleton
Lockport
Medina
Albion
Brockport
Rochester
Rochester
Fairport
Macedon
Palmyra
Newark
Lyons
Weedsport
Jordan
Camillus
Syracuse
DeWitt
Chittenango
Canastota
Canastota
Durhamville
Oneida
Rome
Utica
Ilion
Herkimer
Little Falls
Canajoharie
St. Johnsville
Auriesville
Amseterdam
Schenectady
Schenectady
Colonie
Albany
Rochester
Rochester.
Like most people my only of knowledge about Rochester was that it was the home of Kodak. When I was in the seventh grade I was given a Kodak Brownie which opened up the wonderful world of photography. During my high school days I had a darkroom in my basement where I learned the secrets of photography. I even learned to process Kodak Ektachrome slide film and dreamed to become a wildlife photographer.
George Eastman revolutionized photography when he developed a cellulous film based process which made obsolete glass negatives. Also by putting the film in box with a fixed lens, he was able to produce a cheap camera to the mass market. A person need not learn how to develop film or have a darkroom enlarger. Just send the box back to George and he will reload it and send it back with a set of snap shots.
Eastman got his patent in 1885 and for over 100 years Kodak dominated the photography world. Even to this day, Kodak is a key player in digital photography. But Rochester had a famous past before Eastman came to town.
Rochester was founded in 1803 along the stretch of the Genessee River where the set of three waterfalls could provide the power for grist mills. In 1823 the village had grown from 15 settlers to 2,500. When the canal reached the village that same year, the flour milled there was able to be sent to the Hudson and the markets of New York City.
By the end of the decade, the population was over 9,000 and by 1838, the Flour City was the largest flour producing city with over 20,000 inhabitants. Other industries such as textiles, beer breweries, and carriage factories fueled the growth which reached 60,000+ in the 1860ís and 162,000 by the turn of the century. During the twentieth century the population ballooned to 295,000 in 1920, reaching a maximum of 332,000 in the 1950ís. To this day, Rochester is a major factor in the New York economy.
Originally, the canal cut right through the center of Rochester and over the Genessee River via an aqueduct. Judging from the old photographs I have seen it must have been a wondrous site watching the barges float over the river and through the city. Since many buildings had sprung up along either side of the canal, it was impossible to widen the canal further. So when this section of the barge canal was built, a new route was planned which circumscribed the southern edge of the city. In the 1920s, the aqueduct was covered with pavement. It is now known as the Broad Street Bridge.
 
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