The first form of transport was…walking! Several centuries ago, people started using donkeys and horses. Later, the wheel was invented, and from it, several means of transportation have been developed. Just how fast were they? Let’s get on to it.
Early Boats – Speed Dependent on Winds and Seasons
The earliest known boats were simple log-boats, which were also referred to as dugouts. Evidence of these floating vehicles came from excavations of artifacts that date back to about 7,000 years ago. Rafts have been around for 8,000 years while Pesse canoe has been in use for 7,600 years.
Horses – Speed Depended on the Horse’s Gender and Age
It’s not easy to tell when their domestication started. However, based on shifts in settlement patterns, teeth records, and butchering activities, experts believe that domestication started around 4,000 BCE. They used horses to drive chariots and carts.
Submarine 3.5 Miles/Hour
The first navigable submarine was invented by Cornelis Drebbel, in 1620. The submarine could survive underwater for up to three hours. It was not until the 20th century that practical designs were developed. Before then the first military submarine was launched in 1776. In 1888, the first fully capable naval submarine was launched, and its underwater speed was 3.5 miles per hour.
Steamships – 4.7 Miles/Hour
Watt developed a steam engine in 1769, which changed everything. Boats were among the first transportation means to take advantage of the Watt steam engine. In 1783, Claude de Jouffory, a French inventor, built the first steamship. Unfortunately, Claude’s invention did not make much impact because not much was done to enhance it. Robert Fulton developed the first commercially viable steamship. The ship sailed from New York City to Albany, which is a 150-mile trip, within 32 hours. That means it sailed at 4.7 miles per hour.
History of Trains
Trains were first powered by steam, then diesel and now electricity. The modern rail system was designed in England in 1820. The first underground railway was built in London in 1863. Electric trains were developed in 1880. Magnetic trains travel at a speed of 431km/hr.
History of Aircrafts
The Wright brothers are known as the initial inventors of the aircraft. They invented it in 1902, amidst discouragement and cheers alike. The first commercial jet airliner was flown by De Havilland Comet, who was a British pilot. Today, planes can operate at a speed of 960km/hr.