transportation

The Opening of the Panama Canal

The Opening of the Panama Canal

On August 15, 1914, the very first ship, the cargo ship SS Ancon passed the newly built Panama Canal. Unfortunately, in the same month, World War I started fighting in Europe and the official opening ceremony had to be postponed until 1920. The Panama Canal is an 82 km long ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean and therefore also a key conduit…
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Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

On July 19 1900, Paris, cultural center of the Belle Époche, opened its Métro. The Paris Métro stations with their Fin de Siècle charme and Art Nouveau design have become a timeless icon of the city. The Paris Mètro was the sixth metro in the world after London (1863)[5], Liverpool (1893), Budapest and Glasgow (both 1896) and Vienna. Main achievements of the Exposition Universelle in 1900 were the introduction of escalators, talking films, the…
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Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

On April 29, 1785, German inventor Karl Drais was born, who invented the Laufmaschine (“running machine”), also later called the velocipede or draisine, also nicknamed the dandy horse. Karl Drais became a teacher in a small town near Heidelberg, Germany in 1805 and only six years later, he was released of his duty to focus on his ideas and inventions he already had in mind. To his many inventions belonged a recording machine…
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Titanic – the Unsinkable Ship and the Iceberg

Titanic – the Unsinkable Ship and the Iceberg

Statistics of Titanic‘s Survivors from a Contemporary Newspaper, photo @lysander07 On April 15, 1912, 2:20 AM, British passenger liner Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, US, causing more than 1,500 deaths. The RMS Titanic was one of the largest vessels of the White Star Line with a length of 269.06m (882 feet) and a total weight of 46,328…
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How the Trabant 601 became a German National Icon

How the Trabant 601 became a German National Icon

On November 7, 1957, the first Trabant left the factory of the former East German car manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau. Although it is often seen as symbolic of the defunct East Germany and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in general, it was a sought-after car in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the early 1950s, vehicle construction in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was slow and…
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John Ericsson – Inventions in the Age of Steam Power

John Ericsson – Inventions in the Age of Steam Power

On July 31, 1803, Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson was born. Ericsson is regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers ever. Ericsson collaborated on the design of the steam locomotive Novelty, which competed in the Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, won by George Stephenson‘s Rocket.[4] In America he designed the US Navy’s first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton as well as the first…
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The Citroën 2CV – A Car like no Other

The Citroën 2CV – A Car like no Other

On July 27, 1990, the very last Citroën 2CV rolled off the Portuguese production line in Mangualde. From 1948 to 1990 more than 3.8 million of the air-cooled front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy car were produced. During the 1930s, Michelin took over the Citroën company and the new management ordered a new market survey. It was found that France had a large rural population not able to afford cars. Therefore, a design for a low-priced…
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Land Rover and the Series to remember

Land Rover and the Series to remember

On April 30, 1948, the Land Rover Series I was officially launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show. What started out solely as a farming vehicle became an icon of the automobile industry and stayed in production for 68 years. In 1992, Land Rover claimed that 70% of all the vehicles they had built were still in use. The Land Rover was conceived by the Rover Company in 1947 since Rover produced luxury…
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Benjamin Outram an the First Cast Iron Navigable Aqueduct

Benjamin Outram an the First Cast Iron Navigable Aqueduct

On April 1, 1764, English civil engineer, surveyor and industrialist Benjamin Outram was born. Outram was a pioneer in the building of canals and tramways. His commissions included becoming engineer for the Nottingham Canal in 1792, and the Derby Canal in 1793. For the latter, he erected the world‘s first cast iron navigable aqueduct (water bridge), the 13m long, single span, Holmes Aqueduct that carried the Derby Canal. When William Jessop was approached…
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Georges Nagelmackers and the Orient Express

Georges Nagelmackers and the Orient Express

On October 4, 1874, Belgian entrepreneur Georges Nagelmackers founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, the company known for the Orient Express trains. The Orient Express service was a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883. The route and rolling stock of the Orient Express changed many times. Several routes in the past concurrently used the Orient Express name, or slight variants thereof. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service,…
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