96 votes
Accepted

Transatlantic Zeppelin trips usually took > 100 hours. How did they stock enough food, and where did they sleep?

The Hindenburg was originally built with 25 double-berthed cabins which accommodated up to 50 passengers. While the ship was laid up in Frankfurt during the winter of 1936-1937, 9 more cabins were ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
70 votes

Why are so many metros underground? Isn't that more expensive than an elevated system?

In Moscow, under former mayor Yuriy Luzhkov, it was built a line (Butovo line) which is mostly elevated. I think the practice was not considered quite successful as a result. There are many drawbacks: ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.7k
60 votes

How did passengers keep warm on sail ships?

Long ago, in 16 century they used open fire in fair weather (with all possible precautions) on the deck to cook (ref. Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea). When the sea was rough, only cold food could ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
58 votes

Why are so many metros underground? Isn't that more expensive than an elevated system?

This is mostly about urban planning, and how much change the local government can or will be able to make to the existing streets. In London, the central parts of the city (Westminster and the City) ...
Carmi's user avatar
  • 3,312
49 votes
Accepted

Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile?

In the UK, the 1872 Licencing Act made it an offence to be: ... drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine, or who is drunk when in ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
49 votes
Accepted

Did a significant number of women drive in late 1950s/1960s USA?

Looking at driver's licenses held by women and considering that manufacturers were aiming certain car models specifically at women, female drivers were not uncommon or unusual in the US in the 1950s ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
46 votes
Accepted

Why did early attempts to transport milk to London by rail meet with 'much criticism'?

The Agrarian History of England and Wales E. J. T. Collins, Joan Thirsk Cambridge University Press, 2000 page 993: Retailers complained that railway milk was not as fresh as town milk, and a ...
frankinsensical's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

According to Manuel Moreyra Paz Soldán, El Virreinato de Perú, 1980, p. 79, the coinage embarked on ships corresponded to: Taxes obtained from the provinces and citizens in America: "recaudación para ...
Alberto Yagos's user avatar
31 votes

Why are so many metros underground? Isn't that more expensive than an elevated system?

For New York, the answer is related to real estate value. In New York City, the construction of the metro was performed by real estate developers. The idea was to build homes, then connect them to ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
29 votes

Transatlantic Zeppelin trips usually took > 100 hours. How did they stock enough food, and where did they sleep?

Never look at history with your own 'modern' perceptions! In those days there were only 2 ways to cross the Atlantic: by ship or by zeppelin. A ship took longer than a zeppelin. Everybody crossed by ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
26 votes
Accepted

Was public transportation free in the Soviet Union?

They were not free. In 1961 there was a currency reform, so the answer is about post-1961 period. A price of ride depended on the mode of transportation. For city public transport the price varied ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.7k
26 votes

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

I'm hoping that this answer will resonate with your "theory of colonial economy", although it is not based on historical sources. Coins shouldn't be viewed as end products manufactured from a raw ...
Jirka Hanika's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

What is the oldest road tunnel in the world?

There is a tunnel under a mountain in Samos built around 530 BC. It is described by Herodotus, book III, 60. In 1882 a tunnel which matches Herodotus description has been actually found. It is one ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
24 votes

Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile?

"Causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving" (whether drunk or not) was made illegal by the Offences against the Person Act 1861. It is interpreted as applying to: drivers of horse-drawn ...
Steve Melnikoff's user avatar
19 votes

How did passengers keep warm on sail ships?

There were several ways to stay warm. Not that any of them were exactly great. First winter travel was rare. Next is the fact that passengers (not crew) would not really go above deck much. They ...
coteyr's user avatar
  • 774
17 votes
Accepted

Were bicycles widespread in the Soviet Union?

I would not say "most" but many people owned them. In the big cities, especially children (I am not talking about rural areas). Streets were NOT crowded with bikes (cannot even compare with Denmark or ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
17 votes
Accepted

Which company offered this aircraft interior in the 60s?

It seems that it's a mock-up image produced as publicity for the passenger model of the 747 aircraft by Boeing/Pan-American Airways. It would have to have been from the late 1960s, since the 747 ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Couldn't Japan have solved the problem of drifting at sea?

I believe this is somewhat overstating the risks and well as the severity of the disasters. A sengokubune (千石船) refers to a ship that can carry 1000 koku of rice (sen = 1000). The actual ship design ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
17 votes

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

Many of the coins shipped to Europe were quickly and crudely minted. These were called cobs. According to a page at Notre Dame University, The intention in minting these crude but accurately ...
StackOverthrow's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

In the Soviet Union, how was payment enforced for public transportation?

In metro there were turnstiles (although in many places the turnstiles were only at entrance and you could enter freely via exit). The turnstiles accepted coins and there were also exchange machines ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.7k
16 votes

Was public transportation free in the Soviet Union?

During the Civil War, the national financial system was in chaos, and there was a drive towards 'revolutionary' and 'communist' practices in everyday life. The ideal economy was commonly understood as ...
ach's user avatar
  • 667
15 votes

How did passengers keep warm on sail ships?

Trans-Atlantic passenger travel was not very popular until the advent of the steamer, and yet men and women crossed the ocean periodically, including the affluent. Trans-Atlantic passenger travel ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
14 votes

Did a fallen-out red signal lens ever cause a railway accident?

A lot of confusion here, but a kernel of truth. The book Railroad Signaling (2003, pp. 47-49) gives a fairly detailed account of how the color coding of signals evolved over time. It mentions that the ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 19.6k
14 votes

Did a significant number of women drive in late 1950s/1960s USA?

The description reads as authentic. Of course, we need to differentiate quite a bit. The more rural it gets the earlier female adoption of driving automobiles is observed. It seems that by 1940 most ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
13 votes
Accepted

Did Native-Americans Have Horses?

Not exactly. Equus, the genus that contains modern horses and Zebras, most likely originated in the Americas. Fossil records shows all species from that genus dying out in the Americas about 12,000 ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
13 votes

What is the oldest road tunnel in the world?

There appear to be two candidates which can definitely be considered for oldest road tunnel in the world, and a couple of others which are older but may be disputed. Roughly in chronological order, ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

Gold and Silver are worth so much that their "bulk" is very rarely a problem. Coins make it easier to count them. Their bulk is increased slightly; say by a factor of 2. This makes gold 10 g/cm^3 ...
Yakk's user avatar
  • 360
13 votes

How did they measure speed in the 19th century so they could issue the first speeding ticket?

For this particular case, there is a (very) detailed account of the trial in the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 30 January 1896: I.C. Heard ... was standing at the window of his cottage at ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
12 votes

When did streets get names?

Streets in ancient Mesopotamia had names. A 1975 study of ancient Sippar by Rikvah Harris at the Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten (http://www.nino-leiden.nl/download/3235) found mention of ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 5,325
11 votes

When did covered wagons disappear from America?

An example of a late use of a covered wagon for travel is provided by famous science fiction writer Jack Williamson (1908-2006). It is said that in 1915 when he was 7 his family traveled from Texas ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 111

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