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61 votes
Accepted

Were there any travel restrictions during the Black Death pandemic?

SHORT ANSWER Yes, there were some restrictions on movement during the period 1347 - 51 but mostly (with a few exceptions such as some city states and Poland) they were haphazard and depended on local ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
57 votes
Accepted

How long would it take to cross the Channel in 1890's?

Google Books has a copy of Bradshaw's Guide from 1887. To get to Paris, they recommended one of four options: The numbers in the three rightmost columns are, respectively: approximate first-class ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
46 votes

How would a family travel from Indiana to Texas in 1911?

Your concerns about money notwithstanding, they almost certainly would have taken the train. In the early 1900s, the United States had a well-developed rail network (see, for example, this map from ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 8,541
44 votes
Accepted

Were there inns and hostels in medieval Europe?

SHORT ANSWER Yes, there were, but information on inns and hostels before around 1300 is patchy at best and the evidence suggests that, for the early middle ages especially, travellers were often given ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

When did Britain learn about the American Declaration of Independence?

The news reached London on the 10th of August. It was, of course, known by British officials in the colonies much earlier, but It is astonishing how casually the Declaration was first reported to ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

How did bank transactions (or "data" transactions) work when it took people weeks to travel vast distances?

Historically, the solution to this was the letter of credit, circular note, traveller's cheque, or similar. Basically, it was an attestation that the bearer of the document had deposited a certain ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 8,541
40 votes
Accepted

Was there a tax in the fifties for British citizens traveling abroad?

Currency restrictions existed between 1939 and 1979. The main goal of these restrictions after 1945 was to insure that enough foreign exchange was available to finance needed imports from non-sterling ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,724
39 votes
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How long was a sea journey from England to East Africa 1868-1877?

We can find record of Thomas Wakefield's 1870 trip in the 1904 publication Thomas Wakefield : missionary and geographical pioneer in East Equatorial Africa at archive.org. The ships and trips start is ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.1k
37 votes

How did bank transactions (or "data" transactions) work when it took people weeks to travel vast distances?

Quite simply, they did not guarantee atomicity or synchronicity, they guaranteed eventual consistency. The general principle is simple: it doesn't matter when the money actually gets moved, provided ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
32 votes
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What was a plausible timetable for a train journey across Europe in 1870?

The excellent Timetable World website makes old railway, bus, and airline timetables available on the Internet. Obviously covering every possible route on every possible date would be a monumental ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 434
31 votes

Are there examples of pre-industrial cruise ship?

The Nemi ships Caligula built two barges on Lake Nemi, one of which was essentially a floating palace. The key here is that the ships were on a lake, not on the ocean. Dying at sea is a lot harder ...
kingledion's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

The Danish King Erik I Ejegod (The Good) died in Paphos, Cyprus, 1736 miles / 2794 km from the then capital of Denmark, Roskilde. Erik, who was born around 1056 or 1060 and reigned from 1095 to 1103, ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
26 votes

When did Britain learn about the American Declaration of Independence?

Not repeating info in the other answer(s), but it should be realized that by the time the Declaration of Independence was written, the Battles of Lexington and Concord were already more than a year ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
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
  • 38.8k
25 votes

How would an American returning from international travel prove his citizenship before 1914?

Short answer While it is true that there was no specific legal requirement for Americans entering the US to have a passport prior to WWI, passengers were not unused to being required to present some ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
23 votes

Were there inns and hostels in medieval Europe?

Some of the early lines of Chaucer's prologue to The Canterbury Tales (circa 1386), tell of The Tabard inn in Southwark, just south of London Bridge. In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay Redy to ...
WS2's user avatar
  • 2,242
20 votes

Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

Very likely Grand Prince Yaroslav II Vsevolodich or one of the many other princes in Eastern Europe who were ordered to go to Mongolia and died there. Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver was canonized for ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 1,537
19 votes
Accepted

Why did Pausanias travel to Greece?

Short answer Pausanias does not clearly outline his aims in his work Periegesis or, if he did, that part of text has been lost. Thus, historians have had to rely on clues in Pausanias' text and what ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
18 votes

Were there any well-established land trade routes in the US colonies around 1700? What did they look like?

In 1700, the population of the British North American colonies was concentrated mainly along the coast. Roads were terrible and dangerous, and most people would have used the natural highways, the ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 5,295
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
  • 77.3k
17 votes

How would a family travel from Indiana to Texas in 1911?

Update (more updates following the original post): It has been expressed as dubious that children in 1911 could bicycle this distance with their parents. Let's investigate that. The current road ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Why did the later Crusades seemingly focus more on naval traversal?

Politics, collaboration and trust dictated the routes of the armies to the Holy Land during the crusades. Each crusade is different from the others, with different participants, different nations, ...
Viralk's user avatar
  • 1,391
14 votes
Accepted

How did an English person get entry to East Germany during the Cold War?

I visited East Berlin and Dresden in 1978 with my mother and sister ( I was 18 at the time) from the USA. We had to obtain visas many months prior to our visit from a travel agent who specialized in ...
Matt Balent's user avatar
  • 1,088
13 votes
Accepted

What happened to Soviet citizens living abroad?

In "Gulag Archipelago," Alexander Solzhenitsyn made the point that the Soviet Union tried to attract its "citizens" living in Europe to return to the Soviet Union by playing on their homesickness. ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
13 votes

Are there examples of pre-industrial cruise ship?

There were assorted royal barges. There are precendents for very large galleys. There were some cruises carrying pilgrims in the middle ages. The nature of the passengers might make this the closest ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17k
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
11 votes

How long would it take a Victorian to travel from central Germany to the UK?

(The maps are from an Atlas Obscura article on Isochronic maps and the wikipedia entry on German Railways.) Here's an isochronic map centered on London from the early 1880s to give a feel of how long ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
11 votes

How long would it take to travel from England to western Africa in the late 1890's?

SHORT ANSWER Based on evidence from the period 1894 to 1897, the trip would have taken between 21 and 35 days, depending on how many ports were stopped at on the way. Possible ports of call are shown ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes

Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

Just to throw in a few other names to add to Lars' answer: Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem and Cyprus, born in France, died in Cyprus. (Nicosia is ~3,000km away from Lusignan, so it's actually ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar

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