Inkjet print of digital illustration on canvas

The introduction of automobile mass production, as well as the use of large water supplies for manufacturing, sparked the second industrial revolution in the Midwest. Industrial water use includes water used for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or for sanitation needs within the manufacturing facility. Without the Great Lakes’ proximity to the most heavily manufacturing-centric region in the Midwest, specifically Lake Erie, the growth of manufacturing would not have been or be possible. Cities with large populations along the banks of Lake Erie, like Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo and Sandusky, require massive amounts of water to supply populus with clean, safe water as well.


Pictured: a manufacturing plant on the banks of Lake Erie ca. 1962; tugboat S.J. Christian and steamer Charles B. Hill of Ecorse in the historic shipbuilding yard Great Lakes Engineering Works ca. 1906; a steamboat caught in the Cuyahoga River fire caused by pollution ca. 1952; the Grand Trunk car ferry crossing the Detroit River in winter ca. 1905.