Transcript: Pittsburgh and Steamboats [VIDEO]

Andy Masich, President and CEO, Heinz History Center: 

Let’s talk about steam boating on the western waters.

It all began here in Pittsburgh at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers. Let’s go back in time.

We start with the very first steamboat on the western waters, the New Orleans, built in 1811. Well here’s what Pittsburgh looked like in the 1850s. Here’s the Point. The fountain is right here today. Here’s the old Fort Pitt Blockhouse. The Strip District is the strip of land at the base of the Hill District. Here’s the Mon Wharf. This was lined with steamboats as far as you can see.

In fact you could walk a mile just on steamboats all the way to the Point in the 1850s. This was the steamboat capital of America. Forty percent of all the steamboats built in the 1830s were built right here at the confluence of the rivers, at the forks of the Ohio.

This video is part of a series of videos about the History Center’s recent exhibition, Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia.