Friday, September 3, 2010

Interesting History of Road Transportation

            People have always tried to travel farther and faster. The ancient Egyptians added sails to their boats to power them on the Nile. On land for thousand of years the fastest way to travel was by horse. Only with the invention of the steam engine and, later the gasoline engine was there a real revolution in transportation, with the arrival of trains, cars, and airplanes.

Archaeologists believe that the very first step toward man-made transportation began in either Mesopotamia or Asia, around 4000-3500 BC, with the invention of the wheel that lead to the development of mass transportation.

The next logical evolutionary step from the wheel was the invention of the cart and chariot. The two-wheel chariot found its birthplace in Sumeria, and is believed to be the world’s first form of wheeled transportation. Built around 3500 BC, this chariot increased the speed of travel over land, and eventually led to the four-wheeled cart, which took the burden of carrying supplies and equipment off of the shoulders of the common man.

In 2000 BC Horses are domesticated and used for transportation. Sculptures and drawings that date from the 2nd millennium BC show men and women on horseback. The saddle probably originated in the societies of the Asian steppes and received a high degree of development in medieval Europe. In 770 AD use of Iron horseshoes improve transportation by horse.

In 1662, Blaise Pascal, the French scientist was one of the most reputed mathematician and physicist of his time, invents the first public bus - horse-drawn, regular route, schedule, and fare system .

In 1769, the very first self-propelled road vehicle was a military tractor invented by French engineer and mechanic, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot (1725 - 1804). Cugnot used a steam engine to power his vehicle. It was used by the French Army to haul artillery at a whopping speed of 2.5 mph on only three wheels. The vehicle had to stop every ten to fifteen minutes to build up steam power.

In 1790, early bicycle precursor invented by Frenchmen, Comte Mede de Sivrac, however, it had no steering. The German Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn invented the "Laufmaschine" or "Running Machine" in 1818, a type of pre-bicycle, steer able made entirely of wood and had no pedals; a rider would push his/her feet against the ground to make the machine go forward. Pierre and Ernest Michaux, the French father and son team of carriage-makers, invented the first bicycle during the 1860s.

The first locomotive in the world was built by Richard Trevithick in 1804. Richard Trevithick's invention is considered the first tramway locomotive, however, it was a road locomotive, designed for a road and not for a railroad.

American, Sylvester Howard Roper invented a two-cylinder, steam-engine motorcycle (powered by coal) in 1867. German, Gottlieb Daimler invented the first gas-engined motorcycle in 1885, which was an engine attached to a wooden bike. That marked the moment in history when the dual development of a viable gas-powered engine and the modern bicycle collided.

The first cars, built by karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler, were made in Germany in the 1890’s. Known as horseless carriages, these early cars reached speeds of 20 km/h. With no horse to water or feed, travel had become less of problem.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment