A Brief History of Transportation Methods

Traveling by foot is one of the oldest ways for people to get where they need to go. It took years of complex engineering for society to gain the ability to quickly get from one place to another. Let’s briefly explore the history of transportation methods—from horses and camels to space travel—and howwe reached today’s more convenient travel systems. Before you know it, you’ll better appreciate the different options available at your disposal.

Earliest Forms of Transportation

As we mentioned, the earliest known means of travel throughout the history of transportation methods was by foot.The domestication of animals such as donkeys, horses, and camels didn’t occur until around 4000 BCE. After 3500 BCE, the first wheel was invented. It was made entirely from wood and used for animal-drawn vehicles such as carriages. Later, around 2000 BCE, the first “vehicle”—the chariot—helped with more extended travel and developed further trade relations. Roads date back to around 4000 BCE in Mesopotamia (known now as Iraq); they soon became integral for traveling and trading.

Cars, Trams, and Trains

A significant change in how transportation occurred came about during the Industrial Revolution. During the 18th and 19th centuries, steam-powered boats allowed travel along rivers, carrying passengers and resources and therefore bolstering commerce. Shortly after locomotives and trains came the first car, built by Carl Benz in 1886. Ford manufactured its first cars in 1908, shaping the American auto industry. It also created the assembly line, significantly cutting down manufacturing time and providing more vehicles to customers. Meanwhile, submarines and aircraft allowed for international transportation.

Traveling in the Future

Space travel became possible in the mid-20th century: in 1969, the Apollo spacecraft touched down on the moon’s surface for the first time, which was broadcast on live TV for the entire world to see. Today, plans for humans to travel to Mars are coming to fruition, along with further plans for space exploration.

As for automotive development, auto companies are switching from motorized vehicles to electric ones in order to produce less carbon emissions. Interest in eco-friendliness and advanced technology such as autopilot are making their ways toward safer, reliable vehicles for the public.

From walking on land to traveling through space, travel has come a long way since early humanity. Wherever the future may lead, society started by taking one step forward.

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Written by Logan Voss

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