The Victorian era witnessed great strides been taken in the fields of transport and communications. There was a remarkable improvement in the social life of England during the 19th century. With the introduction of steamships, railways, penny post, telegram and cables the entire society underwent a dramatic change. Life I was never the same again. The slow pace of the stage coach disappeared and the age of speed arrived.
RAILWAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEANS OF TRANSPORT:
The most important means of transport in the Victorian period was the railway. It was the outcome of experience conducted to find the best method of moving coal from mines to places where it was required. As Trevelyan puts it “the railways were England’s gift to the world”. The first efficient steam engine was made by James watt in 1769 this engines which was stationary were used at first to pump water out of mines or to operate the power loom in factories it was only later that these engines were used in vehicles the year 1819 is an important one in the history of steamship because the Atlantic ocean was cross for the first time by a ship fitted with steam engines “The Savannah”. The story of the railways is even more exciting. It brought about a complete revolution in the way of life and in the landscape of the country. Richard Trevithick what’s up pioneer of locomotives in 1804 steam carriage transporter carload of passengers for the first time. George Stephenson produced an engine which was used chiefly to carry coal. The first two railways lines in the world were built one between Stockton and Darlington and another between Liverpool and Manchester.
POPULARITY OF THE BICYCLE:
The popularity of railways founded the death knell of roads and canals. The public mail coach and the heavy family coach disappeared from the roads. They continue to exist on by roads connecting me railway station and the towns. The roads regain their importance only when the motor vehicles came into use. One thing that help the roads to regain their long lost importance was the fashionable use of the bicycle. The common use of the motor car and motor bicycle was yet to come when Queen Victoria died in 1901.
Many innovations were made in the area of communications in the 19th century. An outstanding development in the means of communication was the establishment of the penny post in 1840. It was the result of unselfish and tireless efforts of Sir Rowland Hill who was originally a teacher by profession.Post had been a government Monopoly in England’s in strain of James I. There was a tax on letters but it was very difficult to impose its deadly sins private travellers smuggled letters. The introduction of the penny post sending letters was a costly affair and something which the poor could not afford. Rowland Hill’s proposed hello rate of postage would increase the revenue of the state by increasing the volume of male, all postage rate should be the same without regard to distance and all mail should be prepaid for which he suggested a device which was known as the postage stamp. He he faced a lot of opposition in suggesting the postage stamp, from the indifference statement and uninformed civil service. Carlyle (a great writer of that time) in one of his letters to his mother expressed anxiety that the art of letter writing will become worsen. The letter writing system was very helpful to many and that was the first time for the poor, in the history of mankind to communicate with their loved ones from whom they were separated. It was a success.
The same decade of penny post also witnessed the introduction of electric graph which was based on the invention of Samuel Morse. After the many difficulties Samuel Morse was able to build his first telegraph line in the United States from Baltimore to Washington in 1843. The next year he sent his first message “What hath God wrought”. Later after the spreading of telegraph lines, the inventor Samuel Moses was rewarded by many governments of Europe. The first telegraph company was formed in 1846 had 17 offices in London by 1854. the first successful cable was laid in 1866 and in 1870’s Stearns and Edison developed method of sending more than one messages over the wire at a time.
The telephone was the most popular and easiest means of communication. It was invented by Alexander Graham bell and naturalized American. In 1856 with an apparatus embodying the results of office studies in the transmission of sound by electricity and this invention with modification and constitutes the modern telephone. After two years when Graham bell visited England he demonstrator is invention before Queen Victoria. Only per the support given by her, the first telephone exchange was opened in England in 1879 with 7 or 8 subscribers. Many telephone companies were organised in Great Britain in the cause of the next few years. The uses of telephone communication began to be appreciated the government gradually took over the service. It is today one of the easiest means of communications.