Travel and Transport


Figure 1.--Water travel predates the development of the himan species. 'Homo erectus' is believed to have traveled on rivers and crossed open water. Land transport is far more recent and deceloped well after civilization had appeared. The wheel was developed about 3500 BC and the donkey, the first beast of burden, was domesticated soon after (about 3000 BC). Only then did long distance land trade routes become possible, along lond distance trade was by caravan traffic with donkys and camels, not wheeled carts. This is a scene on the Nile River in 1960.

Travel and transport for centuries was little changed. Humans and human precursors walked. And hisorians now believe than that human precursors like Homo erectus had invented boats millennia before the advent of civilization. The boats were, however, primrily for transportation, not transporting cargo. More sophisticated boats appear to date from the time that civilization began to develop. Transportation of course has major economic implications. Some cultures were especially concerned with transporations and communications. Early civilizations developed in river valleys and thus had rivers for transport. The development of land transport lagged behind. The wheel was invented when the development of civilization and agriculture was well advanced (about 3500 BC). The donkey was he first beast of burden and domstication occurred soon after the wheel (3000 BC). The lack of roads and the high cost of land transport, however, meant that riverine and sea transport was the primary form of transport. The Persians, Romans, and Incas were notably for their extensive and well maintained road system. Major changes in transportation began to occur in the 18th century. These changes were a critical part of what has become know as the industrial revolution. Canals played an important role in the early phase of the industrial revolution. Efficent new methods of transport were developed utilizing steam engines, both the rail road and the steamboat. At the turn of the 20th century the automobile and airplan appeared. There are many iamges throughout the ages of people traveling which illustrate period dress. The images are especially common in the 20th century with the develop of amateur photography and the ubiquitous snapshot. It was one popular to dress up for major trips. Car ads once depicted fashionably dresses people incliding children. Boys often wore suits for trips in trains and especially airplanes. Today it is more common to wear casual comfortable clothes.

Ancient Civilizations

Travel for centuries was little changed. Some cultures were especially concerned with transporations and communications. Most cultures relied on sea transport for long distance travel. Humans and human precursors walked. And hisorians now believe than that human precursors like Homo erectus had invented boats millennia before the advent of civilization. The boats were, however, primrily for transportation, not transporting cargo. More sophisticated boats appear to date from the time that civilization began to develop. And sea transport is still the major form of long distance transport. Not only is most of the surface of the plannet covered by oceans, but the laws of phusics mean that it is much less expensive to move goods over water, iceanbs and rivers. But as most of the population lives away from sea coasts and navigage rivers, land transport is vital for any great society. The Persians, Romans, Incas, and others were notably for their extensive and well maintained road system. Such roads were a sign of a wealthy and powerful civilization and only such socities could afford to make such long-term investsments. Rome was especially noted for its extensive road system. Like the Estuscans before them, the Romans built roads. Rome began build roads in the 4th century BC and was sill building when the Empire desintegrated in the 5th century. The road system radiated from Rome and connected the farthest outpost of the Empire. Augustus built a golden milestone in Rome. The Roman road system was not just impressive for its extent, but also for the engineering involved. The carefully prepared foundations set Roman roads aside from roads built by earlier civilizations. The effectiveness of these foundations is the reason that sections of Roman roads survive to this day. The first such road was the Apian Way. The initial empetus for the Roman roads was military, but the roads had significat political and economic importance. Building roads over the Alps was associated with Rome's desire to subdue the Gauls. The Inca road system extended over 14,000 miles despite the fact that they had not developed the wheel as a practical device.

Economic Implications

Transportation of course has major economic implications.

Industrial Revolution

Major changes in transportation began to occur in the 18th century. These changes were a critical part of what has become know as the industrial revolution. Canals played an important role in the early phase of the industrial revolution.

Modes of Tranportation

Early man walked. As horses and other large animals were domesticated, trnsport of goods over long distances became possible. caravan trains crossed the trackless plains and deserts of Central Asia. The costs were enormous. For the most part, the transport of goods had to be conducted by boat or river barge. Canals were built by ancient people both for irrigation and transport. Efficent new methods of transport were developed utilizing steam engines, both the rail road and the steamboat. At the turn of the 20th century the automobile and airplan appeared.

Clothing

There are many iamges throughout the ages of people traveling which illustrate period dress. The images are especially common in the 20th century with the develop of amateur photography and the ubiquitous snapshot. It was one popular to dress up for major trips. Car ads once depicted fashionably dresses people incliding children. Boys often wore suits for trips in trains and especially airplanes. Today it is more common to wear casual comfortable clothes.

Memorable Jouurneys

We have archived on HBC several memorable trips takem by children. Transportation was in early periods quite an adventure and sometimes dangerous. Early trains were quite dangerous. President Pierce's son Benji was killed on a train as his father was traveling to Washington to be imnagurated. There were children of course aboard the Titanic. One of those boys was Jack Ordell. Jack got off the Titanic in Ireland and than took a touring holiday. Another boy who took aome ibteresting trips was Douglas Speeden. We note an account of the Zeppelin children. We have other accounts on HBC that we are in the orocess of lining here.






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Created: June 28, 2003
Last updated: 8:03 PM 3/15/2018