Evolution of Transportation

Topics: Steam locomotive, Locomotive, Rail transport Pages: 8 (2743 words) Published: May 5, 2012
Evolution of Transportation; United States and United Kingdom

Transportation is a very important part of history, today and the future. Transportation is what his world runs on. Because of transportation many people and businesses are able to survive. But transportation does not just involve business; it can also be for personal means. Think of how mail is delivered or packages are shipped. In one way or another some sort of transportation was involved. But is transportation as important as it was back in the 19th and 20th century when we didn’t have technology like we do today? Technology today has eliminated transportation in the sense that mail does not have to be sent by carrier anymore, if can be sent over the internet. But when we look at transportation in the 19th and 20th century we can definitely see that it changes over the course of history and every day, month or year we progress into a forward motion and we can see that transportation literally wrote history. In this paper I am going to explore and compare how transportation evolved in the world. I will focus on United Kingdom and the United Stated in the 19th and 20th century and show major comparisons on how transportation wrote history and how far the US and UK have come from where they were then to what it is like now.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear transportation and history? Like many and me, we think of steam engines, which lead to railroads, railroads lead to coal, coal leads to mining, and it goes on from there. From a brief overview we are all correct. Steam locomotives transformed the industrial revolution.

The first steam engine concept was funded by a gentleman by the name of Samuel Homfray but the idea was conceived by Richard Trevithick. “On February 22, 1804, the locomotive hauled a load of 10 tons of iron, 70 men and five extra wagons the 9 miles between the ironworks at Pen-y-Darron in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales to the bottom of the valley called Abercynnon. It took about two hours.” (Bellis) Although Trevithick had the original idea for this locomotive engine, it was used in what is a called a tramway locomotive which was used for the road, not the railway. “George Stephenson is considered to be the inventor of the first steam locomotive engine for railways. “ (Bellis) Stephenson, very poor and uneducated growing up taught himself to read and write and because of this self-motivation lead him to becoming a colliery engine builder. Hired by the Stockton and Darlington Railway line, he would eventually be known for the building the company’s first steam powered locomotive, as the company engineer and would name it the “Locomotion” in 1814. While all this compelling revolution was taking place in England a gentleman by the name of John Stevens was making history in the US and was recognized as the “Father of American railroads.” Previous to Stephenson perfecting his locomotive in England Stevens was experimenting on his estate in Hoboken, New Jersey three years prior, which gave him the experience he needed to obtain the first railroad charter in North America in 1815. This set forth the future growth of some of the first operational railroads. “The first railroad charter in North America was granted to John Stevens in 1815. Grants to others followed, and work soon began on the first operational railroads.” (Bellis) By now you can see that the United States and England at this point were in a nose-to-nose race and very alike in the changes that slowly began to shape history.

The birth of the Railway in England began in 1758 with an act for establishing agreements between land owners and proprietors for laying down a wagon-way. This act is known as the Middleton Railway Act of 1758, which granted Charles Branding, owner of Middleton Colliery the right to build a wagon-way from his colliery to his coal-yard. “...and, as the said Coal-mines and Coal-works lie at the Distance of Two Miles and upwards from...

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