This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Medical Newspaper Clippings

    This article from the Buffalo Evening Times describes the final stages of the Hamburg Canal’s fill-in project and the hope for further land development. Click on the image to see a larger version. Photo: UB ARCHIVES

Published: Nov. 8, 2012

An abandoned Western New York canal denounced as a cesspool of disease, a public nuisance and a local embarrassment. The Love Canal in Niagara Falls? No. The Hamburg Canal, a waterway that once ran between Hamburg Street and Main Street in Buffalo.

Originally constructed to help relieve congestion along the Erie Canal, by the late 19th century the Hamburg Canal was considered a public health menace. By late 1902, the canal was completely filled in and talk of land reuse had begun. Today, the Interstate-190 highway sits above the former canal site.

The Passing of the Hamburg Canal,” an article published in the Buffalo Evening Times on Nov. 30, 1902, describes the final stages of the canal’s fill-in project and the hope for further land development. The article, from the UB Libraries’ Medical Newspaper Clippings, 1901-1906 Collection, is part of a unique digital collection featuring hundreds of articles published in Buffalo and Western New York newspapers more than a century ago.

The original articles filled the pages of four scrapbooks that were discovered several years ago in the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection in UB’s Health Sciences Library. Apparently compiled by a local “clipping service,” the articles cover the period Oct. 31, 1901 through June 14, 1906, and focus on local public health issues, including disease outbreaks, sewage, water, food and milk purity, animal control and the regulation of businesses from bakeries to barbershops.

The clippings also chronicle related political events in Buffalo and the surrounding region, as reported by the many newspapers published in the city at that time, including the News, the Courier, the Enquirer, the Times, the Review, the Express, and Buffalo’s German language newspapers.

Browse through the Medical Newspaper Clippings, 1901-1906 Collection to learn more about this fascinating chapter in local history.

Scott Hollander and Kathleen Quinlivan, University Libraries