During the early to mid-1800s, the railroad changed the transportation industry and dramatically impacted the nature of the American ecomy. Entire families, such as the Humphreys from Cambria County in western Pennsylvania, saw their fortunes rise and fall with this new techlogy. This remove mountain county was at the forefront of railroading techlogy and interstate competition during the mid-19th century. The Pennsylvania Main Line Canal System sought a way to cross the Alleghenies. The Main Line had to compete with the Erie and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canals to secure the lucrative western freight traffic. The Allegheny Portage Railroad, one of the first in the country, was t just part of the industrial age--it was the start of the industrial and transportation age in America.