Monthly Archives: November 2018

Comment on McNown on Canals by Aziz Shaik

The link comparing canals and railroads was especially apt considering that McNown’s article seems to discuss how waterways were the fastest way to travel than by over land. As I was reading through McNown’s article one thing that caught my eye was the fact that one sixth of all the freight in the United States was transported through inland waterways in 1976, the year this article was published. I was curious as to how these numbers are affected in modern times especially with the greater use of air transport and I was curious as to how this would be affected in modern times. I could not find much for air travel compared to railroad or waterways, but I did find a site that had a ton of data related to transportation and a useful map that depicts the load of each transportation method as well as the track it follows. Unsurprisingly, truck transport through interstate highways seems to have the most presence on the map, but waterways and railroads still seem to be used extensively, especially for larger loads.

McNown on Canals

Before the 16th century the most efficient way to transport materials was by natural waterways. However, these rivers or streams had non-navigable at some points thus transport was impossible. During the 16th century European engineers began to expand the waterway network. They started by removing obstacles and digging canal loops around rapids or the obstacles. …

Continue reading “McNown on Canals”

Boorstin – Getting There First

Technology during the late 18thcentury into the 19thcentury was developed to be a technology of haste. American’s thought of technological development like a Nascar driver in a race. It was important to get there first and fast.     “ If you ain’t first, you’re last.” – Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights       …

Continue reading “Boorstin – Getting There First”

The Americans: the National Experience

Blog Summary of Boorstin’s ArticleIn the article from The Americans: the National Experience by Daniel J Boorstin, Boorstin describes the evolution of transportation in America. The transportation in America was motivated by the need to get places fast. Boorstin describes the style of transportation in the West, through the Mississippi. Boorstin calls the Mississippi the…

Comment on The Rise of Coal Technology – Harris by ryanmc

Nice summary of Harris’ article. I like how you pointed out that by draining mines of water, the Newcomen engine fills itself because it lets miners mine and provide more coal for it. With all the focus nowadays on clean energy and how bad fossil fuels are, it sometimes is lost on me how revolutionary coal was when people discovered what a great source of energy it made.

Astrolabe Research

The Astrolabe: Using the Stars to Explore the Earth The astrolabe, which means star taker in Greek, is a scientific instrument to make observations and calculations. Because early man recognized that stars moved in patterns and could be used to determine dates, times, and celestial events, travelers developed tools such as the astrolabe, which utilized …

Continue reading “Astrolabe Research”

Comment on The Rise of Coal Technology – Harris by Aziz Ahammad Shaik

Your post did a good job of summarizing the main points of the article. I do like how you focused a large part of your comment on the comments that Harris made about John Nef’s argument that the Industrial Revolution was first in Great Britain. While Harris does agree with this notion, he does address faults he sees in Nef’s beliefs, namely how he feels that Nef has exaggerated the revolution in Great Britain.

John R. Harris: The Rise of Coal Technology

Though coal had been around for centuries, it did not become a major energy source until the Industrial Revolution.  In the Middle Ages prior to the Industrial Revolution, coal was used only by blacksmiths and other metalworkers.  As the advantages of coal became more well-known throughout the centuries, it became more prevalent in industrial society.  …

Continue reading “John R. Harris: The Rise of Coal Technology”