Fast is a relative term. In our U.S. History classes, one theme we trace is the development of new transportation technologies, from the National Road (then through the Erie Canal, Transcontinental Railroad, urban subways, cars, and airplanes) to space ships.
I just read about a great source to show our students to help illustrate this theme. It poses a simple question (How far could you go on one day of travel from New York City?) and illustrates the answer in a map.
Classroom connection: It would be fun to show your students this map, and ask them to research examples of primary sources describing what early transportation was like for these stagecoach, rail, and air pioneers. Other students could look for advertisements offering travel on these new carriers. A third group could investigate the impact these new transportation technologies had on different social and economic groups.
I learned about this map in a terrific post today (while following the New York Public Library's Division of U.S. History, Local History & Genealogy) by Dana Schulz (@danaschulzNYC) in the 6sqft blog. Dana's post was based on a post in Quartz by David Yanofsky (@YAN0) (NB: That last character is the number zero). Thanks to both Dana and David!