The next time you find yourself irritated because of a delayed flight, put yourself in the shoes of a traveler in the early 1900s. Before the era of mass air travel began, travelers relied primarily on ocean liners for long-distance journeys, and Low-Tech Magazine notes a trip from London to New York would take three days and 12 hours to complete. Today, that trip takes as little as seven hours and 40 minutes, thanks to the commercialization of airplanes.
From horse-drawn carriages in the 18th century to gas-powered automobiles in the 19th century to flying around the world at a moment’s notice today, the way we get around has altered dramatically. The below timeline highlights a few milestones throughout the history of travel, courtesy of the University of Houston, CNN, Motor Trend, and Daimler.
1769 – Nicolas Cugnot invents the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transport
Image Source: PBS LearningMedia
1885 – Karl Benz creates the first gas-powered automobile
Image Source: Daimler
1903 – Orville and Wilbur Wright made history by completing the first-ever manned, heavier-than-air flight
Image Source: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
1952 – The de Havilland Aircraft Company debuted the world’s first commercial jet flight, a 23-hour trip between London and Johannesburg
Image Source: Finding Dulcinea
1964 – Japan launches the bullet train, a high-speed rail that reaches up to 210 km per hour
Image Source: Phys.org
1969 – The first Boeing 747 flight took off, traveling nearly twice as far as other commercial planes
Image Source: Aviation Week Network
1990 – Mazda produces the Eunos Cosmo, the first car with a built-in navigation system
Image Source: Motor Trend
1996 – The launch of booking site Expedia opened up the door for online travel bookings
Image Source: Tnooz
As travel has evolved and increasingly connected our world, so has our Association. Over the years, GBTA has provided a platform for managed travel professionals to share best practices, policies and solutions to the industry’s greatest issues. While these posts are meant to look back and reflect on our history, we look forward to what the future holds, for both our organization and the travel industry.
Visit the GBTA Blog every Thursday for more throwback posts! Interested in submitting a Convention memory for a chance to be featured at #GBTA2018 in San Diego? Here’s how. You can also share your Convention memories with us on Twitter using #TBT and tagging @GlobalBTA.