V -- TRANSPORTATION

By Roy V. WRIGHT

IN 1803," says Bogart, the economic historian, " Thomas Jefferson said it would be 1000 years before the region east of the Mississippi could be fully settled. If the people had been compelled to depend exclusively upon natural waterways and roads, this would probably have been true."

By this brief and simple statement the deep significance of mechanical transportation for the development of American civilization is given high illumination. It takes but little imagination to expand this idea into the wide reaches of our social evolution and to give a new meaning to obscure pages of our national history. And from this concrete starting point it is only a step to the consideration of mechanical transportation as a means of transforming the face of the earth and the economy of all the nations on it.

The material prosperity and advancement of a nation are quite as dependent upon its transportation facilities -- their extent and the efficiency with which they are operated -- as they are upon the efficiency and volume of production in general. Transportation and communication facilities, combined, are measuring sticks by which we can determine with some degree of accuracy the stage of civilization to which a nation has advanced. We can find striking illustrations of this by comparing the transportation facilities and life of nations in different parts of the world.

We take so much for granted in these days! Despite the comparatively simple conditions under which those of us now beyond the half-century mark lived, say forty years ago, we forget that our fathers had even less of what are now regarded almost as the

-98-

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Toward Civilization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • I- The New Age and the New Man 21
  • II- Science Lights the Torch 38
  • III- The Spirit of Invention in an Industrial Civilization 47
  • IV- Power 69
  • V- Transportation 98
  • VI- Communication 120
  • VII- Modern Industry and Management 137
  • VIII- Agriculture 159
  • IX- Engineering in Government 176
  • X- Art in the Market Place - The Industrial Arts in the Machine Age 196
  • XI- The Machine and Architecture 213
  • XII- Work and Leisure 232
  • III- Education and the New Age 253
  • XIV- Machine Industry and Idealism 273
  • XV- Spirit and Culture under the Machine 282
  • XVI- Summary- The Planning of Civilization 297
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