kids encyclopedia robot

Canvass White facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Canvass White
Canvass White.jpg
Born September 8, 1790
Whitestown, New York, United States
Died December 18, 1834
St. Augustine, Florida, United States
Nationality United States
Occupation Engineer
Engineering career
Discipline Civil engineer
Projects Erie Canal, Delaware and Raritan Canal
Significant advance Rosendale cement

Canvass White (September 8, 1790 – December 18, 1834) was an American engineer and inventor. He was chief engineer at the Delaware and Raritan Canal and he patented Rosendale cement, which became the dominant cement in the United States until 1900.

Early life and family

White was born on September 8, 1790, in Whitestown, New York to Hugh White, Jr. (January 16, 1763 - April 7, 1827) and Tryphena Lawrence White (July 4, 1768 - March 30, 1800, a native of Canaan, Connecticut).

He received his education at the Fairfield Academy.


NYS Historic Marker at Old Erie Canal State Historic Park, Manlius Center, Onondaga County, New York

White's first job as an engineer was on the Erie Canal in 1816, working for chief engineer Judge Benjamin Wright. In the autumn of 1817, he travelled to England to study their canal system. When he returned he patented a type of natural cement, Rosendale cement which was used to build some of the major works in the US including the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Brooklyn Bridge. He continued his work in New York until 1824. From 1824 until the summer of 1826, he was Chief Engineer on the Union Canal in Pennsylvania. He was appointed Chief Engineer of the Delaware and Raritan Canal in 1825 and of the Lehigh Canal in 1827. He was also a consulting engineer for the Schuylkill Navigation Company and for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. He became President of the Cohoes Company when it was incorporated on March 28, 1826. He was also highly involved in the design of the Croton Aqueduct though the position of chief engineer eventually went to John B. Jervis.

Of White, author Bill Bryson writes, "the great unsung Canvass White didn't just make New York rich; more profoundly, he helped make America."


Works of White's that survive include:


White died in 1834 and was buried in Princeton Cemetery in Princeton, New Jersey.

kids search engine
Canvass White Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.