Man's physical universe



From that time to the present, progress in shipbuilding has been

represented by an increase in size, speed, safety, and luxury. Tremendous

rivalry between the steamship lines of the different nations

has resulted in the production of huge vessels, which, although they

are probably uneconomical, nevertheless represent the last word in the

applications of scientific knowledge.

In 1938 the Queen Mary made the eastbound trip across the Atlantic

Ocean in 3 days, 20 hours, and 42 minutes.

Railway Transportation Made Great Progress during the Past Century,

but It Is Now Facing New Competition.'

Progress in transportation has always meant more speed, reliability,

and convenience at less cost. Today one can take a two-hour train ride

for the cost of a five-mile riksha trip in China. This progress has always

been opposed by people and interests who fear the new competition.

Canal and stagecoach companies opposed the development of railroads;

and later the railroads, in turn, tried to oppose transportation

by automobiles.

The earliest railroads used horse-drawn cars, the first steam locomotive

being introduced in England in 1804. In 1830 the Baltimore

and Ohio Railroad completed a 15-mile road from Baltimore to Ellicott's

Mills and put horse-drawn cars into service. In 1831 the

Mohawk and Hudson Railroad Company constructed a railroad from

Albany to Schenectady and put the famous DeWitt Clinton steam

locomotive into service.

In 1850, 9021 miles of railroad were in operation. The first railroad

was completed to the Pacific coast in 1869, and by 1916 the total railroad

mileage in the United States was 254,251 miles.

In railroad transportation, we see again the ever increasing application

of scientific knowledge. Space does not permit an account of

the evolution of the modern light-alloy train from the wooden and

later the all-steel trains nor an account of many important inventions

such as the air brake, automatic couplers, electric signals, and other

safety devices.

The development of the electric railroads from street railroads into

interurbans and the recent electrification of hundreds of miles of railroad

lines cannot be discussed. Although many interurban and electric


railways have now been displaced by the new transportation

agency, the automobile, electricity is superseding steam to some extent

in large terminal areas, heavily used stretches of railroad, on mountain

» The value represented by the railroads in the United States is J 2 6, 000.000,000. In

1939 railway employees were paid J 1,864,000,000 in salaries and wages.

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