This Map Shows Just How Long Travel Took 100 Years Ago

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You might have battled queues, delays and cancellations while you travelled over the holiday weekend, but be grateful you’re travelling in 2015 when travel time is measured in hours—rather than in days, the metric used in this 1914 map.


Intelligent Life magazine has unearthed this wonderful isochronic map, which shows how long it would take—in days—to travel to locations around the world. First published by John G. Bartholomew in “An Atlas of Economic Geography”, you can see a larger version by clicking the magnifying glass in the upper left of the image. The map shows that you could travel as far west as the Azores and as far east as the Russian city of Perm within five days from London. Bump the limit up to ten days, and you travel from London to Winnipeg. If, err, you wanted to.

But what’s most interesting is the difference in time it takes to cross entire continents: the maps shows that you can scoot from London to the depths of Siberia in under ten days, for instance, and as soon as you hit the east coast of the U.S. you can travel a respectable distance, too. The first of those observations is a clear giveaway as to why that’s the case, in the shape of Trans-Siberian Railway. By 1914, the railways were well-established in Europe and the U.S., too, making travel far more swift than it had been in the past.

Less so Africa and South America, though, where any travel inland from the coast took weeks. Now, flights mean that travel durations of more than two or three days are, mercifully, rare.

[Intelligent Life]



Now I’m curious as to the cost of such travel in those days and how it compares up to today. I’d assume it’s far cheaper no too.