transportation

The Inventions of John Ericsson

The Inventions of John Ericsson

On July 31, 1803, Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson was born. Ericsson 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. 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…
The Citroën 2CV

The Citroën 2CV

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…
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…
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…
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…
The Tower Subway – the World’s First Tube Railway

The Tower Subway – the World’s First Tube Railway

On August 2, 1870, the Tower Subway, the first tube railway in the world, was opened under the River Thames in London, England. Engineer James Henry Greathead used a tunnelling shield he modified from Barlow’s design to bore the 6-ft diameter tunnel near the Tower of London. It opened with steam operated lifts and a 12-seat carriage shuttled from end to end by wire rope powered by a steam engine. In the…
Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin

Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin

Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin Image: Franz Jansen On 21 June 1931, Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin (rail zeppelin) set a new world railway speed record of 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) on the Berlin–Hamburg line between Karstädt and Dergenthin, which was not surpassed by any other rail vehicle until 1954. The famous Schienenzeppelin was anticipated by the design of the Aerowagon, an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aircraft engine and propeller traction. The railcar from germany was…
William Wilson and the First German Railway

William Wilson and the First German Railway

William Wilson (1809-1862) On April 17, 1862, British mechanical engineer William Wilson passed away. He was the first engine driver of the locomotive Adler on the first German railway. There was a time, when every little boy wanted to become an engineer or engine driver. Master of the huge and powerful machine, driving the rails, faster and faster. But, this was already way before my time. I wanted to become…
The Legend of the Pony Express

The Legend of the Pony Express

Illustrated Map of Pony Express Route in 1860by William Henry Jackson~ Courtesy the Library of Congress ~ On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express started delivering messages, newspapers, mail, even small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. Although being an economic disaster, the Pony Express has become a…
My Hovercraft is full of Eels’

My Hovercraft is full of Eels’

Royal Marine LCAC(LR) Hovercraft Image: UK Ministry of Defence On December 12, 1955, English engineer Christopher Cockerell filed the patent for his new invention, the hovercraft, a craft capable of traveling over land, water, mud or ice and other surfaces both at speed and when stationary. “My hovercraft is full of eels”…”Ahh matches!”. Many of you may know these famous sentences by Monty Python’s Flying Circus in ‘the Hungarian Phrase…
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