24 February 2014

Travel via Wagon Trails, Trains, and Automobiles "Oh My!"

Travel – something we all do, whether it’s a walk to the mailbox, a cross country (or international) trip for vacation, or a move to a new residence.  We often take for granted the modes of transportation available to us and the speed with which we can traverse large distances.

I recently discovered a neat resource, Travel Western North Carolina. It talks about wagon trails in the 1890s, the train in the 1910s and the automobile in the 1930s.  A travel map is laid out for each mode, when you place your cursor over an identified “stop” on the route, a picture pops up and if you click on the “Tour the town” link, information contemporaneous to the timeline is shared. It really gives you a visual feel for the mode of transport overlaid on the time period when it was booming.

What a neat way to vicariously travel as our ancestors would have at the turn of the last century.

As always, this sparked my interest in whether there are similar website resources that have been created for other locales?  I didn’t see anything comparable though I did come across some interesting resources about travel.

+ 18th-Century Modes of Travel (Colonial Williamsburg) – do check out the slideshow illustrating modes of travel
+ A Brief History of Transportation (Ancient times to the present)

Has such a resource been created for a locale you have researched?

Editor's Note: Another Upfront with NGS post dealing with traveling is How fast could you travel across the U.S. in the 1800s?

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