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Transportation and Communication

Transportation and Communication

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Transportation and Communication

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  1. The effect of the most perfect system of Transportation is to reduce the distance not only between different places, but between different classes. - Daniel Howe

  2. Transportation and Communication 1815-1848 Evan and Wilson

  3. Transportation Prior to Transportation Revolution • The majority of land transportation in America, prior to the advancements in the 19th century, mainly consisted of carriages and coaches drawn not only by horses, but also ox and mule. Both people and goods traveled this way.

  4. A Need for a New Transportation • The Great Migration caused a greater need for new transportation because of the increased population and people moving to not only the west for agriculture but also around the coasts for mercantilism. Americans in both circumstances wanted faster ways to get their products to markets of the inner cities in the east. The increasing demand for faster transportation for these products and merchandise caused the government to focus more money on the advancement of transportation.

  5. Road Transformations • “In Europe, especially in England, the majority of roads were well kept pathways between cities and villages. This was not so in America” (Brainard 1). • In America the roads were mostly dirt trails through the woods. They were by no means maintained, and some even had tree stumps in the middle. • It was realized that something had to be done about the road systems if America was to continue in industrial and social advancement. One specific example of the government making an effort to improve road systems was during the movements west. As Ohio was coming into statehood, the government put some proceeds from the land sales to helping fund a gravel road. This road was later called the National or Cumberland Road.

  6. Painting of the building of National Road

  7. Marine Travel • In the 18th century, sailboats were the transportation of choice when it came to water travel. With numbers of mail, goods, and people increasing in America, sailboats just weren’t fast enough. A new type of boat was introduced in the mid 19th century. Steamboats, invented by Robert Fulton, became a faster and more efficient mode of transportation for both people and goods. • A major importance of Fulton’s steamboat was that it made traveling upstream on the new canals much easier.

  8. Erie Canal • “The Erie Canal represented the first step in the transportation revolution that would turn an aggregate of local economies into a nation-wide market economy” (Howe 118). • The Erie canal was a major transportation asset in the early 1800’s. The canal was designed to reach from the Hudson River to Lake Ontario. Later, however, it instead was designed to go to lake Erie. The reasoning behind building it was the fact that it would be cheap way to make it easier to transport large amounts of product over large distances. The original canal was finished in 1825 by the command of the governor New York at the time, DeWitt Clinton, and was dug 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide. It was later dug deeper and wider to 7 feet deep by 70 feet wide because of increasing traffic. This depth and width could handle boats carrying 240 tons.

  9. Railroad Progression • While the idea of a railroad was not invented during the time period between 1815 -1848, there were several very important advancements that did. • In 1825 George Stephenson betters his previous locomotive with an 8 ton locomotive that could pull 90 tons of coal 15mph. While this seems slow to current standards in modern day America, it was a huge bound from his train that pulled 30 tons of coal 4 mph only eleven years prior in 1814. • In 1833 Stephenson also invented a steam brake cylinder that would be used to brake the wheels of trains

  10. Before Improvements in Communication • Before communication was improved during the mid 1800’s, humans would use signal fires (on top of towers) to relay simple messages to each other. Used since ancient times, the British improved this method, in the early 1800’s, by creating a system called a “semaphore chain”. A semaphore chain is basically a series of towers that held contraptions with shutters that could be operated to flash signals to neighboring towers (who could then signal to more towers). It was due time for a completely new way of communicating. • Many nations had a postal system by this time that was efficient, but it will be discussed on a later slide.

  11. Telegraph • American professor, Samuel F.B. Morse created the telegraph after he began experimenting with electromagnetic signals that he could send with messages. The messages weren’t in English, and if one heard these messages, they would hear beeps. Morse used these beeps to create a “language” known as Morse code. • “On May 24, 1844, Morse, stationed in Supreme Court chambers, which were then in the US Capitol, sent a message to his assistant Alfred Vail in Baltimore. The famous first message: ‘What Hath God wrought.’” (1) • The Telegraph received enormous success (obliviously) because it created a new job market, giving thousands of jobs, and it strengthened communication between nations/families.

  12. Telegraph (cont.) • By 1850, telegraph lines existed in most parts of North America. So Americans could only communicate by telegraph inside America. • In 1856, businessman Cyrus Field forms the Anglo-American Telegraph Company (AATC) to oversee the project of laying telegraphic cable across the Atlantic Ocean. • This vessel carrying all the cable, laid about 120 miles of cable each day (totaling 1,686 nautical miles). The transatlantic cable was completed on July 27th, 1866.

  13. The Postal System during the 1815 - 1848 • Mail has been used since the eras of the Persian and Roman Empire. In fact, there is historical evidence of postal systems in Egypt dating back to about 2000B.C. • Between 1835 and 1837, Rowland Hill (an English educator and reformer) created the pamphlet “Post Office Reform: It’s importance and Practicability” which is regarded as a milestone towards the development of the modern postal system. This document eliminated the cost carrying charges and created a simple and uniform rater of postage regardless of distance. Rowland Hill also created the first stamps, which could be bought at the post office. The average stamp cost about 5 cents at the time.

  14. Pertaining to the Telephone • The telephone was invented in 1874 by Alexander Graham Bell. This form of communication was faster and more convenient than the telegraph. However, the creation of the telephone is outside the time boundaries assigned; therefore no further information will be given. (There could be a question about this on the quiz).

  15. Sources: • • • • • • • Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought. New York City: Oxford UniversityPress, 2007. Web. 14 Nov. 2010.<>.