Snapshot 1858… A French flying machine…

August 13, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from The National Intelligencer, dated August 7, 1858. It’s a shame those in the article below this snapshot didn’t have access to such an invention.

The Traveler… new wheels to get around…

July 9, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly a year ago I journeyed to New York City by the means of the Scientific American, dated August 19, 1868, where I found the “Hanlon’s Patent Improved Velocipede”. “Within a few months the vehicle known as the velocipede has received an unusual degree of attention, especially in Paris, it having become in that city a very fashionable and favorite means of locomotion. To be sure the rider ‘works his passage,’ but the labor is less than that of walking, the time required to traverse a certain distance is not so much, while the exercise of the muscles is an healthful and invigorating. A few years ago, these vehicles were used merely as playthings for children, and it is only lately that their capabilities have been understood and acknowledged. Practice with these machines have been carried so far that offers of competitive trials of speed between them and horses on the race course have been made…”

I’m glad that they don’t make them that way any longer!

~The Traveler

Snapshot 1885… Early flight (?)

June 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from The Scientific American, New York, dated May 9, 1885. Thankfully, the wise saw, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” eventually proved to be true.

 

Early no-smoking cars on trains…

September 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-9-26-2016-no-smoking-railroad-carWhile the most significant feature of the St. Louis Daily Globe” of February 2, 1875 is a report regarding Frank and Jesse James, the front page has a curious report headed: “A Peculiar Bill” concerning the need to create nonsmoking cars which would: “…afford relief to a great many ladies who are annoyed by cigar smoke, and other evils arising from the use of tobacco by gentlemen…” (see image).

Before there was the Chunnel…

February 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-22-2016-English-Channel-BridgeFor over twenty years now the English Channel Tunnel, of the “Chunnel” has carried passengers, by train, between England and France. Although being the first such connection to come to fruition, it was not the first proposed.

Such a connection between England and the continent has been proposed since 1802 but none, obviously came to reality. The November 30, 1889 issue of “Scientific American reports on a bridge that was conceived as a viable effort, detailed in the article: “The Proposed Bridge Over The English Channel” and illustrated with a caption: “The Proposed Railway Bridge Between England and France.”

It is difficult to imagine the success of an elevated railway stretching over 30 miles, which might explain why this concept never became reality, but in hindsight it is interesting to perceive the vision of engineers over 100 years ago.

One of the first hybrids…

February 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-8-2016-early-carIn today’s world hybrid automobiles are commonly found on the road, a cross between internal combustion and electric engines. But our recent fascination with hybrids is nothing new.

In 1889 a proposal was submitted for what looks like an electric car/cable car hybrid, as detailed in the July 27, 1889 issue of “Scientific American. The electric vehicle would receive its power from the cable lines above it but the vehicle would negotiate the streets without the aid of tracks.

It is interesting how fascination with electric propulsion over 100 years ago has been renewed today as a means of powering automobiles.

The Traveler… the sinking of the Hesperian…

September 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-9-17-2015-Hesperian-SinkingToday I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Tribune of September 7, 1915. The headline is of the tragic sink of the Hesperian. “Hesperian Sinks; 26 Dead; No Excuse for Act Found; Disavowal Is Expected”. “With all of the twenty-give missing passengers and crew of the Hesperian, torpedoed Saturday evening, now given up as lost, the total death list… stands at twenty-six… Wesley Frost telegraphed today to the American Embassy that the Admiralty authorities had not been informed officially that the Hesperian had been torpedoed without warning, but that they believed this was the case. Persons so far seen stated that no warning was given…”

~The Traveler

Always the pessimist…

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Allegany County Reporter” issue, dated July 28, 1887, with a lengthy article on the “Exhaustion of Petroleum” could have been written 5 years ago or 30 years ago, but in fact it was  from 1887. Great evidence that pessimism was alive and well over a century ago. Enjoy the entire text of the article (shown below):

The Traveler… the strike is over… looking to the future…

April 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I journeyed to Detroit, Michigan by the way of The Detroit News of April 1, 1963. There I found that people of New York city would be able to enjoying their daily papers again as the 114-day newspaper strike had ended. Newspaper headlines read as “New York’s Alive Again!”, “Well, Hello There! We have News For You” and “Read All About It – Oh, What a Beautiful Morning”. “A series of labor disputes had shut down the papers for nearly four months and cost the city’s economy an estimated $250 million.” Some of the newspapers came back to print with the price of the issues being raised by half, some even doubled the cost per issue.

The back page of the issue features an article “Economists See a Future of Abundance – Full, Rich Life Only 40 Years Away… The Year 2000”. This is an interesting look at four decades into the future with articles of “Note of Caution on Planning”; “Ample Resources Seen for Future”; “More Funds Urged for Research”; “Taller Americans, Bigger Appetites”; “Energy Demand Due to Triple” and more. It also includes four interesting illustrations of the futuristic glimpses of life (see image below or click on link above). Ready to use your car that is able to take to the air to avoid the heavy traffic on the turnpikes and freeways?

~The Traveler

It never caught on…

March 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This “Novel Hydraulic Railway Locomotive” made the front page of “Scientific American” on Feb. 10, 1877, with a descriptive article which begins: “A new mode of traveling has lately been invented…”.  Apparently it never caught on: