Abstract

In the 1830s, Pennsylvania’s Main Line of Public Works was at the cutting edge of the transportation revolution. Travelers embraced the speed and convenience of the line, but struggled to articulate the aesthetic experience of new forms of travel. This article uses the narratives of John Alonzo Clark, a Philadelphia minister, to explore the ways in which Pennsylvania travelers applied existing categories of the beautiful, the sublime, and the picturesque to innovative technological experiences. Clark and travelers like him found that mechanized transportation on the Main Line of Public Works heightened their experience of the landscape and distilled the older categories to their essence. Far from perceiving a tension between modern technology and landscape appreciation, these travelers found that together the two created novel and pleasurable aesthetic experiences.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-2109
Print ISSN
0031-4528
Pages
pp. 88-105
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-17
Open Access
No
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