Hot answers tagged

10

Smoking was allowed on the hydrogen filled zeppelin, the Hindenburg, but only in a specially made pressurized smoking room. the smoking room was separated from the rest of the passenger section by a double-door airlock. The smoking room was closely monitored at all times by a member of the zeppelin’s staff, and only one electric lighter was ...


9

Conventions for driving on one side of the road go back to at least the Roman Empire: In late 1998, the remains of a Roman quarry was discovered at Blunsdon Ridge, near Swindon, England. It is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman quarries known. Ruts in the road leading to this quarry are much deeper on one side of the road than on the ...


7

Originally, all the riders were on the left because that's the side you mount the horse from, and you mount the horse from the side of the road. You don't mount a horse standing in the middle of the road. This changed around 1700 when advancing bridle technology and improved wagons with metal axles, metal suspensions, bearings and fittings made it possible ...


7

The decline of wagon trains in the United States started in 1869, with the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, and wagon trains as a way of migrating essentially ended in the 1890s. Covered wagons, on the other hand, stuck around for a long time. The covered wagon of the migrations evolved from freight wagons such as the Conestoga, and ...


7

It took about two weeks. By 1890 postal unions had been formed allowing mail to transit around the world to most places. The domestic rate in the US was 2¢ per ounce. For a first class letter weighing 1/2 ounce or less to Britain the union cost would be an additional 5¢. Thus, the total cost was 7¢ for a first class letter. Here are the rates from 1890, ...


6

A rough estimate of the time is as follows: the distance from London to NY is approximately 3000 (nautical) miles. The Blue Riband prize was awarded to passenger liners which showed the average speed of about 15 knots, (20 knots was the world record in 1889), so I suppose it is safe to assume that an average ship at that time could cross with the average ...


6

All of the activities of the airship were considered interesting by the newspapers. The New York Times had 5 or 6 articles on the Hindenburg in April alone. The Hindenburg was by far the fastest way for a passenger to cross the Atlantic at the time, taking only about 70 hours (3 days) compared to regular ships which took about a week, twice as long. It's ...


5

It seems that DELAG, a German airline, launched the first Zeppelin passenger service from Baden-Baden in 1910. Interestingly, both Zeppelins and flying boats required minimal investment in land. Serving upper-class passengers in busy ports and cities, they created an exciting spectacle for the nearby crowds in these areas, making air travel both ...


4

The decline of wagons was very gradual. They were displaced for long-distance movement of bulk goods starting in the 1820s and 1830s by the canal building frenzy sparked by the success of the Erie Canal. Canals were the cheapest way to ship bulk goods for a long time. By the 1840s, ocean-faring steamboats provided direct competition to wagons for ...


4

There are web sites that discuss the history of Channel ferries. Paddle steamers made their appearance in the early 1800s: Of course, every kind of boat could be used as a ferry, even small foot powered paddle boats. The 1827 scene below is from the United States, but the same kind of boats were used in the English channel:


3

I would welcome information applicable to the Thames Thames sailing barge - source The flat-bottomed hull made these craft extremely versatile and economical. They could float in as little as 3 feet (1 m) of water and could dry out in the tidal waters without heeling over. This allowed them to visit the narrow tributaries and creeks of the Thames ...


3

The Wikipedia article you refer to gives a reference which says that this change "increased speed and stability". Which can be explained, of course. Suppose you have two gauges, 1524 and 1520 with the same tolerance, say 4. This (very roughly) means that the first one will really have width from 1520 to 1528, and the second from 1516 to 1524. ("Roughly ...


3

The most common solution is the one way trip. The flatboat was the cheapest of the many types of boats and became the standard conveyance for families moving west. All of the boats in this period were hand-powered, using poles or oars for steering, and usually just floated with the current. Unwieldy flatboats were not intended for round trips since they ...


2

This was done to improve stability of the existing rolling stock. If they just changed the tolerances, they would need both new stock and new rails for the benefits to have force. With changing the standard of the rails they could make use of the improved stability using existing rolling stock on the newer rail lines.


2

A more general answer can be given. Transatlantic flights of airships were rare events. No comparison with modern airplane fights, and with regular ships crossings at that time. So it is not surprising that they had attention of the media. And they were available mostly to the "rich and famous", and these people always have attention of the media whatever ...


2

Animal power was not limited to being tugged from the shore. There were also team boats, which were generally horse engine powered. While they don't have much of a history in the US prior to steamboats (the earliest documented team boat was built in 1791), animal powered paddle boats have a long history going back to at least the 4th-5th century when the ...


2

You need to ask yourself: "What counts as a beast of burden?" Is a man with an equity interest in the expedition a beast of burden? Inspired by courier du bois such as the La Verendrye family, the Company of Adventurers trading into Hudson's Bay, colloquially known as The Hudson's Bay Company, used canoes paddled by native Americans to collect furs from ...


2

In ancient China, when traveling upstream on some rivers, there were labors hired to drag boats while walking on bank. It can be just on the bank of one side of the river, or both sides if the river is not very wide. This can only done for not very long distance and when the current is very unpredictable and strong, which means such service was only ...


2

Native Americans did not have advanced economies and there is no evidence of mass movement of bulk materials (river barges, canals etc.). In China, river/coastal boats would be rowed and sailed. There was canal/irrigation systems that used towpaths. I am unsure about the Tigris and Eupgrates. In Europe, river boats were often see-faring or specialty ...


1

I've heard that the left hand rule is so that sword-bearing riders can engage each other, while the right hand rule is due to men driving large carts being able to use whips on their oxen without striking oncoming carts. Take that as you will.


1

Let me notice first that "before Fulton", besides river transportation in developed countries existed a dense network of canals. Especially in England and Germany, but also many in the US. You can still travel on canals in most places in England. Second, besides beasts, people were used to pull boats and barges in some places, for example on Volga in ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible