Figure 25 Advances in Transportation Technology and the Shrinking of "Real" Distance

Figure 25
Advances in Transportation Technology and the Shrinking of "Real" Distance

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  1500-1840 1850-1930 1950s 1960s-present
  Best average speed for horse-drawn coaches and sailing ships was 10 mph Steam locomotives averaged 65 mph and steamships averaged 36 mph Propeller aircraft able to fly 300-400 mph Large jet aircraft able to fly 500-700 mph
Infrastructure innovation Trunk canals Turnpike roads Railroads Ocean shipping Highways Airports/airlines Emergence of telecommunications
Vehicle innovation Horse-powered coaches Steam engines Steamships Railroad equipment Steel ships Aircraft Automobiles Combustion engines Trucks Tractors Jet engines Containerships Megaships Post-Panamax ships

SOURCE: Adapted from P. Dicken, Global Shift: Transforming the World Economy (New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1998).