Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

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Transportation In Britain

November 12, 2009
Thanks to the factory system, goods were produced faster and in larger quantities. In order to make more money, people needed to find a new way to send and receive goods faster. This called for a change in Britain’s transportation system.

In the late 18th century, canals were built to connect major manufacturing centers with seaports. A packhorse could move 1,000 lbs by road, and 100,000 lbs by canal. There were roads in Britain as well. Goods were slowly transported on the roads by horses. In order to travel from one town to another, people rode stagecoaches and carrier carts. The use of roads was soon replaced by the railroads system. Steam- powered locomotives reduced the time and costs of transporting goods.

Note: This is a summary of the transportation revolution (since we already covered most of it in class)

Now let’s move on to the transportation revolution in America! (scroll down)

Image Credits:

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Transportation Graph

November 12, 2009
This is a graph of the number of passenger journeys on Britain’s national rail network from 1920 to 2005.  Why is there a gap in the graph around 1940? That’s what I wondered too. I found out that there the time period the gap was the same as the time period of World War II. World War II lasted from 1935 to 1945. I guess no one wanted to go on a railroad journey because of the war.

 

Image credit:

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Transportation in America

November 12, 2009

Let’s look into America’s transportation revolution. The change in transportation in America was similar to that of Britain’s. During colonial times, America had few roads. The roads were impassable during bad weather and were bad for wheeled transport. Traveling took a long time and was expensive. For example, the cheapest way to get from Northampton, Massachusetts to Boston, was to go to Windsor, Connecticut on land, and down the Connecticut River to Long Island Sound. Then, you had to take a ship around Cape Cod, and finally you would reach Boston. This trip was more than 280 miles long, and Northampton was in reality, only 100 miles away from Boston.

In 1794, the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike was built and The Philadelphia and Lancaster Company earned a lot of money from it. Soon more and more decent roads were built, and by 1820, there were roads linking all the major Northern and middle Atlantic cities with towns along the East coast. The system of turnpikes allowed farmers to send larger volumes of goods in less time. As a result, freight costs were reduced.

One of the most important canals was built in 1825: the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal cost $7 million to build. It connects Lake Erie to the Hudson River, and is 363 miles long, 4 feet deep, and 40 feet wide. The Erie Canal caused an explosion of canals, just like the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike caused an explosion of turnpikes.

The use of canals declined after railroads were built. Before the railroad system was made, people had to ride in crowded stagecoaches, just like Britain. The benches were hard, the roads were bumpy, the air was dusty, and there were many mosquitoes. America had steeper hills and mountains than Britain, so their locomotives were lighter and more powerful, with four sets of double wheels instead of two. By 1860, about 30,600 miles of railroads connected all the major U.S. cities east of the Mississippi River.

Image Credit

  • http://typhilwiki.pbworks.com/f/1194373525/steam%20locomotive.gif
  • http://www.bera.org/images/west-stagecoach.small.jpg
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