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Innovations in transportation in the 19th Century included sleek and speedy sailing ships known as clippers and steamships that eliminated a sailor's dependence on the wind. Steam locomotives made fast overland travel possible. Other milestones in transportation included the building of railroads, canals, steel bridges, and astonishing wonders of the age, enormous suspension bridges.
  1. Bridge Building (9)
  2. Canals (2)
  3. Railroad Building (3)
  4. Sailing & Clipper Ships (1)
  5. Steam Locomotives (4)
  6. Steamships (1)

Building the Erie Canal
The idea of building a canal from the east coast into the interior of North America had been proposed by George Washington, who actually attempted such a thing in the 1790s. And while Washington's canal was a failure, citizens of New York thought they might be able to construct a canal that would reach hundreds of miles westward. It was a...

The National Road, America's First Major Highway
The National Road was constructed from western Maryland to Ohio in the early decades of the 19th century, and was the forerunner of the federal highway system. The original plan was to make travel to the west, especially the new state of Ohio, practical. The road eventually reached Indiana, and was eventually modernized as part of the national...

Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Steamships
The steamships Great Western, Great Britain, and Great Eastern were three revolutionary steamships designed and built by the brilliant British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Each ship advanced the technology of steam power and while the ships had troubled histories, their contributions to the history of the 19th century and of ships in...

Ships, Champagne, and Superstition
The tradition of christening news ships by breaking a bottle of champagne against the bow developed in the 19th century. By the late 1800s, ship christenings were elaborate public events, attended by many thousands. It was considered extremely important that the champagne bottle break on the first attempt, or the ship would be considered unlucky.

Transportation Milestones
Milestones of 19th century transportation, including advances in canals, bridges, steamships, and railroads.

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