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The history of transport

Since way back, people have been inventing ways to move themselves and their goods faster. Let's take a ride through the ages to see how transport has changed...


People put wheels on carts and chariots, making them the first wheeled vehicles. People also invented riverboats, which they steered with oars.

1480 – 1490s

Italian inventor, artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci started thinking about building a flying machine and made more than 100 drawings that showed his ideas about how they could work.


Cornelis Drebbel invented the first submarine – “sub” means under and “marine” (from marinus) means sea in Latin. The first submarine was very basic and couldn’t stay underwater for long.


During the Industrial Revolution, steam became very important. Steam boats were invented, then steam trains and steam engines. Steam engines work by burning lots of coal to warm up water. When the water is boiling, it creates masses of steam, which is put under pressure to make the engine parts move.


Modern bicycles were produced. They didn’t have nice soft rubber tyres like today – they were known as “bone shakers” because the roads were so bumpy and made your bones shake when you rode the bicycle.


Karl Benz invented the first automobile with an internal combustion engine. “Automobile” comes from the Latin and is a fancy word for car. He named his car Benz Patent- Motorwagen. The first one had only three wheels.


The Wright brothers, from America, invented and successfully flew the first plane with an engine. By 1940, there were helicopters and by 1963, the first supersonic jet was in operation (“supersonic” means it goes faster than the speed of sound, which is 1 234.8km per hour).


The first astronauts landed on the moon in the Apollo 11 spacecraft developed by NASA. It took Apollo 11 three and a half days to reach the moon.

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