The most common way to travel before the advent of cars was via animal labor. People utilized the strength and versatility of the horse, donkey, ox, mule, burro, camel and even the dog for transportation in various cultures. If no animals were available, people simply walked. Travel over rivers and oceans was difficult and dangerous, but many different models of ships, canoes and eventually steamboats existed around the world.Continue Reading
Before the Spanish reintroduced the horse to North America, many Native American tribes relied exclusively on dogs for transportation. Dogs pulled people's movable lodges and other belongings on a sled-like contraption called a travois. The dogs were quite hardy, capable of carrying 40 to 50 pounds on their backs, or pulling as much as 250 pounds. Native American peoples switched to the horse by the 18th century as it began spreading across North America via trade routes. Horses were stronger, larger and capable of covering great distances much faster than a dog and a travois.
European Americans generally relied on oxen and wagons for extended overland travel. Oxen were sturdy and steady. They could pull wagons for longer distances and with less maintenance than that required by horses. Oxen could also be consumed if an injury necessitated euthanasia. Sea travel was arduous, and people usually attempted long voyages only when it was unavoidable. A journey across the Atlantic could take up to eight weeks depending on sailing conditions. Ocean travelers also exposed themselves to many dangers and discomforts, including piracy, drowning, disease and chronic seasickness.Learn more about Inventions
The first gasoline-powered wheeled vehicle was invented in 1885 by Karl Benz. However, many previous developers and designers had notions of automated conveyance, including Leonardo da Vinci.Full Answer >
Cars in their modern form have been around since 1885, when German engineer Karl Benz made the first working automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. Prior to Benz's creation, steam-powered automobiles had been in use for transporting people and cargo.Full Answer >
The earliest-known use of soap dates back to the ancient Babylonians, who made soap as early as 2800 B.C. Clay containers from that era have been found inscribed with a recipe for soap made from animal fats combined with wood ash and water.Full Answer >
Luigi Galvani was an Italian scientist who, during the 1780s, discovered a relationship between electricity and the nervous system when he observed that an electric current applied to a dead frog caused the animal's legs to twitch. His primary discovery occurred in 1780, with additional work throughout the decade.Full Answer >