The Evolution of Transportation

China has just launched its bullet train that has turned 21-hour trips into a 6-hour ride. Guangzhou residents now have the promise of being able to work in the more affluent city of Beijing. In Europe, charging stations have been installed on the streets for electric car users. While at a port in East Coast America, passengers are excitedly boarding their ship for a vacation cruise in the Bahamas.

The ability to move from one place to another has long been part of man’s culture. It started as a small path that the first travelling man followed to bring food to the tribe. These tracks are now highways and the hunted game has been replaced by refrigerated food trucks and pizza delivery motorcycles.

Humans and beasts have discovered that they can benefit from each other. Animals found it convenient to be fed by humans and man used them to carry heavy load. Goods were loaded and dragged on a travois, a basic construction of lumber poles and netting attached to an animal. The invention of the wheel came in stages. No one is sure who invented the wheel as historical evidence show that it seems to have simultaneously been used in different parts of the ancient world around 4,000BC.

The emergence of the wheel led to efficient transport and required roads. The roads implied communication and trade with the foreigners. Man’s thirst for knowledge and discovery gave rise to travel and cultural exchanges. Roads also gave way to politics and the building of it maintained power over ancient societies.

Meanwhile, maritime travel was a necessity for tribes settled around oceans for food. Canoes were crafted out of logs and historians presume that they were used for migration. In Asia, bamboo rafts may have been the first crafted mode of transport on water. Later, trade, exploration and even conquering nations, were made possible with steam-powered ships using coal. The heat produced from burning coal allowed man to work with metal and glass and produce steam energy. The transport of coal was made possible with the use of trolleys on rails that led to sea ports. This marked the start of the train evolution.

The abbreviated form of the horse drawn carriage is carr which later evolved to car to refer to the nineteenth century automobiles. Brilliant inventors were able to communicate to each other quicker through letters delivered by carriages. A carriage’s running gear, chassis, four wheels and axles are blueprints of the modern car. Inventors then used metal, coal energy and the basic carriage to create the first steam engine car. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/01/2013

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