On the Move (2018 | Issue 1)

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History of Transportation

Man has constantly been looking for different ways to get from point A to point B. And we sure have come far! Continuously evolving modes of transport have opened up new worlds and opportunities, enabling trade, movement of people and a quick spread of ideas. Today, we can get from one place to another, near or far, without giving it much thought. Travelling is a given, whether for work or pleasure. We’re now talking of sending people on a holiday to the moon! What’s Up, Germany? traces the evolution of transportation over the centuries.

THE EARLY YEARS

7600 BC

The earliest known boats were simple canoes cut out of tree trunks. The Pesse canoe, made out of a pine log, is considered the world’s oldest boat.

4000 BC

Oxen were harnessed to plough fields.

3500 BC

The wheel was invented in Mesopotamia. Initially used for pottery, they were later put to use in carts.
Horses were domesticated.

2000 BC

Chariots were built.

3100 BC

The sailboat was invented in Egypt.

181–234 AD

Chinese General Chuko Liang invented the wheelbarrow to transport supplies to wounded soldiers.

17th CENTURY

1620

Cornelis Drebbel built the first working submarine, which was propelled by oars.

1662

Blaise Pascal started the first public bus service in France. Drawn by horses, the bus followed a regular route and fare system.

18th CENTURY

1712

British blacksmith Thomas Newcomen developed the first practical steam engine.

1769

The first self-propelled automobile with a steam engine was designed by Frenchman Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot.
Scottish engineer James Watt revolutionised the steam engine, making it more efficient and powerful.

1783

Marquis Claude de Jouffroy d’Abbans built the world’s first successful steamboat.
The hot-air balloon was invented by the Montgolfier brothers.

1790

The earliest bicycle, invented by Comte Mede de Sivrac, looked more like a wooden scooter with no steering and was called a celerifere.

19th CENTURY

1801

Richard Trevithick unveiled the world’s first steam-powered locomotive called the “Puffing Devil”.

1814

George Stephenson produced the first commercially viable steam locomotive.

1817

German Baron Karl von Drais built the first bicycle with a steering called the draisine. It had no pedals and had to be moved with one’s feet!

1862

Jean Lenoir made the first gas-powered automobile.

1863

London’s Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway system, was opened.

1873

The cable car was invented by American Andrew Hallidie.

1885

German mechanical engineer Karl Benz built the first usable automobile powered by an internal combustion engine.
Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, also German engineers, invented the first gas-powered motorcycle.

1888

The Spanish Navy launched the Peral, the first fully capable military submarine.

1891

German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal successfully tested his glider.

1900

German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin flew the world’s first rigid airship over Lake Constance.


20th CENTURY

1903

The Wright brothers invented and flew the first successful airplane.

1908

Henry Ford produced the Model T, the first affordable car, using the assembly line method.

1915

The first hovercraft that travelled on water was built by Austrian Dagobert Müller.

1916

A tank prototype nicknamed “Mother” was created in Britain.

1919

Planes began carrying passengers between London and Paris.

1926

The first liquid-propelled rocket was launched by American Robert Goddard.

1939

Igor Sikorsky built the first practical helicopter.

1955

British engineer Christopher Cockerell invented the modern hovercraft.
USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, was launched.

1957

The first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, was sent into space.
Boeing 707 made its first commercial flight.

1961

Vostok 1, the first manned spacecraft, orbited the earth with Yuri Gagarin on board.

1964

The bullet train was invented in Japan.

1969

NASA’s Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

1981

The first space shuttle was launched.


“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
— Leonardo da Vinci, artist