Transportation & Communication

These new inventions made people's lives easier

Steam locomotive

The steam locomotive provided easy transportation of people and goods across the country. This machine moved along railroad tracks which made transportation easier because the tracks didn't have to follow the course of a river, so things got to their destination faster. The world's first major rail line opened in England in 1830 and ran from Liverpool to Manchester.

The Telephone & Telegraph

Samuel F.B. Morse developed the telegraph, which could send coded messages over wires by electricity. By 1866, an undersea cable running through the Atlantic Ocean was sending messages to and from America and Europe. Alexander Graham Bell took communication one step further with his invention of the telephone, which made communication with others even easier than the telegraph because you could actually speak to one another. Bell's first model of the telephone was later improved and modified for better use.

The Automobile & Airplane

The automobile quickly transformed transportation during the industrial revolution when German engineer Nikolaus Otto invented a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine, and when Karl Benz received a patent for the first automobile, which had three wheels. A year after Benz's patent, Gottlieb Daimler introduced the first four wheel automobile. Henry Ford later introduced the Model T a new car that reached "a breathtaking speed of 25 miles per hour." on October 1, 1908. Ford Motor Company started using the assembly line to mass-produce cars. In 1903, bicycle makers Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first to design and successfully fly an airplane. Although the plane was flimsy and only stayed in the air for a few seconds, it would introduce the air age. Commercial passenger travel, however, didn't begin until the 1920s.


These inventions changed how people lived and provided stepping stones for future inventors. The telegraph and the telephone made communicating with people across the country or across the ocean the easiest it had ever been, and transportation advancements like the steam locomotive, the automobile, and the airplane made transporting goods and people around the world more convenient than boats that had to follow rivers and canals to get things to where they needed to go.

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