Karl Bodmer Travels in America (5) (cropped)


Karl Bodmer Travels in America (5) (cropped)



'Aquatint' by Karl Bodmer (1809 - 1893).
See: category:Lehigh River
This is a view of the Lehigh River south-southeasterly across the so called 'slack water pool' above the lower Lehigh Canal as viewed from the shoreline of East Mauch Chunk* located between Mauch Chunk, (Pennsylvania (Now Jim Thorpe, PA) and upstream Nesquehoning, PA in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. Depicted is the coal barge loading docks and chute terminating the Summit Hill & Mauch Chunk Railroad, which existed over 111 years; converted in the 1890s to solely a tourist and local freight railway, it lasted operating regularly into the years of the Great Depression as the acknowledged world's first roller coaster.
This view is generally oriented South, is likely viewed from where the bridge now crosses to the left bank part of the town and clearly visible are the nature of the narrow shelf and 'gap' cut by the Mauch Chunk Creek—both holding the crammed-in buildings of the company town founded by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company. The knob of Mount Pisgah rising about 1100 feet above the town at it's feet dominates the center right, while the prominent peak left of the water gap is Bear Mountain, an outlier of the Poconos.
The upper dam and locks of the Lehigh Canal built and operated by the company as well as the Lehigh Gap (see: water gap) itself are all out of sight (in the distance) at the left-center of the view. From the coal chute, the watercourse bends sharply right as it drops through the gap left of center past the dead tree in the view.

* East Mauch Chunk on the opposite bank, actually sited NNW of the 'town on the highway' was a very different community with a culture rooted in timbering, boat building (in support of the operations of the opposite shore), the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and competing coal mining concerns. During the 19th century and into the early 1920s, its citizens really had little daily intercourse with Mauch Chunk, separated both by the Lehigh and two competing railroads on each bank. No ferry service existed, so a boat would have to be chartered. It was combined with Mauch Chunk after a steel bridge connected the two above the railroad tracks enabled combination as a new borough named 'Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania' in honor of Olympic hero athlete Jim Thorpe—the new town situated along both sides of the river.

Karl Bodmer (1809–1893) was a Swiss-French printmaker, etcher, lithographer, zinc engraver, draughtsman, painter, illustrator, and hunter. Known as Karl Bodmer in literature and paintings, as a Swiss and French citizen, his name was recorded as Johann Karl Bodmer and Jean-Charles Bodmer, respectively. After 1843, likely as a result of the birth of his son Charles-Henry Barbizon, he began to sign his works K Bodmer.





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