History 101:Kindergarten

Module 1.0 History of Transportation

Topic 1.2: Transportation of the Past and Present

Transportation has changed throughout history. In this course we will be talking about the past which refers to “then” and also the present which is “now.”

Transportation in the past

In the past people did not have fancy cars like we do now nor could they catch a ride on the subway at their convenience. People relied on other sources of transportation.  They walked long distances, rode horses, and had covered wagons. Once new transportation emerged in the past, it still did not look like what we use today. Some examples of transportation that have changed are: steam engines, airplanes, cars, bikes, and buses.

 Transportation in the present

Today we use many different types of transportation. We have a lot more choices of each type of transportation. For example, there are many different cars available today such as SUVS, trucks, vans, and cars. In the figure below you can see how transportation has changed from the past (then) to the present (now).

Figure 1.5 Transportation: Past and Present


Changes in Transportation from past to present

Even though these types of transportation existed, they were very different from what we use today. Transportation in the past was slower and harder to access. Not everybody could afford transportation. Now transportation is faster, easily available, and most people have access to it, such as public transportation.

 As discussed in a PowerPoint by author stream, in the past a covered wagon and a horse could cover 1-2 miles per hour. According to William W. Bottorff,   early cars could cover at the most 2 miles per hour. Later on in the 1900’s, according to William W. Bottorff, cars could cover at the most 45 miles per hour. Now cars can cover as much as 142 miles per hour (but remember we do have to follow speed limits). Airplanes in the past at the most could cover 40 miles per hour compared to airplanes today that can travel up to 5oo miles per hour. In the present we also have paved roads which help with transportation versus the dirt roads in the past.


 Bottorff, William.W. What is the First Car? http://www.ausbcomp.com/~bbott/cars/carhist.htm. 15 July 2011.

“Transportation Then and Now.” Authorstream. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/aSGuest52287-429425-transportation-3rd-grade-history-lesson-education-ppt-powerpoint/ .15 July 2011.