turnpikes, canals, and railroads

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Turnpikes, Canals, And Railroads. Overview. What is the shortest distance? The Story of Turnpikes The Story of Canals The story of Steamboats The Story of Railroads The story of Productivity. What’s the Shortest Distance?. Why Travel 3,000 Miles?. Ohio wheat would be ground into flour. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Turnpikes, Canals, And Railroads

OverviewWhat is the shortest distance?The Story of TurnpikesThe Story of CanalsThe story of SteamboatsThe Story of RailroadsThe story of Productivity

Whats the Shortest Distance?

Why Travel 3,000 Miles?Ohio wheat would be ground into flour.Shipped to New Orleans - - about 1,000 miles.Then shipped up the Atlantic coast to consumers in Philadelphia and other cities adding another 2,000 miles.Why would anyone do that?

Location MattersImagine cheap and abundant apples in one region that have little economic value unless they can be sold to consumers who may not live nearby.A basket of apples harvested is much less valuable than a basket of apples harvested and delivered to paying customers.That is why it makes sense for people to spend time an money on transportation.

Location MattersOur national transportation system arises from public and private decisions.The Constitution gave Congress the power to To establish Post Offices and Post Roads.But, we sort of take it all for granted

The Mystery of the Alien BananasBananas are a tropical fruit. No one in Delaware grows them.Delaware statutes provide no plan for getting bananas to grocery stores. Yet, there they are there everyday, even the most rural grocery stores.How can that be?

7John Stossel Gets a Steak

8Profit MotiveBusiness transportation is guided by an interest in profit.Improved transportation systems often help businesses generate profits because of customers willingness to pay - - sometimes a lot - - for getting goods to or from the right place at the right time.

Profit MotiveHow does the profit motive contribute to providing all of us access to goods and services requiring the cooperation of thousands of strangers?

What is the metaphor of the invisible hand meant to convey?Free markets - - allowing people to act in their own self-interest - - promotes positive social outcomes even those these are not intentional.The apple grower or wheat farmer is simply trying to earn income.To make this all work, we need a system of transportation.

The Turnpike StoryIn 1790, the poor road system was a major problem for Americans looking for better connections to markets. State and local governments developed adequate local roads but were not up to the task of taking on large projects.They turned private enterprise to help.

The Turnpike StoryTurnpikes are intercity toll roads.They were made of stone, gravel, and (from 1847 to the peak in 1853) plank.Turnpikes offered speed and dependability over local roads.By the 1830s, turnpikes are over taken by canals.

1810 = 4,600 miles1830 = 27,800 miles

Turnpike Incorporation, 1792 - 1845Year1792-18001801-18101811-18201821-18301831-18401841-184569398362230365138States = NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, PA, NJ, VA, MD, OHTurnpikes TodayWhy build a turnpike and an Interstate?

The Canal StoryThe great canal-building era lasted from 1815-1843.Combinations of private and state and local government money build the canals. 1815-1844 = $31 million73% of the investment was provided by government.

The Canal StoryWater transportation was important because the cost per mile was much lower than overland transportation.This explains why Ohio wheat would travel to New Orleans as flour on its way to Philadelphia

The Canal StoryThe opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 the drove dramatically reduced shipping costs from Buffalo to New York City.

The Steamboat StorySteamboats were developed for use on the internal river system - - the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Missouri Rivers.Flatboats, Keelboats, and steam-driven paddle wheelers gave farmers cheap transportation for their crops to New Orleans and on to other ports.

The Steamboat StoryAbraham Lincoln made the trip to New Orleans as a flatboat captain.Flatboats were usually broken up and sold for timber.He returned home upriver in a steamboat, the latest and greatest mode of transportation.

Steamboats in Operation on Western RiversYearsNumberTonnage1811 1 3711815 7 1,5161820 69 14,2081825 80 12,5271830151 24,5741835324 50,1231840494 82,6261845538 96,1551850638134,5661855696172,6951860817195,022The Steamboat StoryBy the end of the 1850s, a fleet of over 800 steamboats sailed on the internal rivers.Freight rates fell in real terms by 90% upstream from 1815 to 1860 and by 40 % downstream.Heavy loads (crops, iron) tended to travel downstream.

Lighter loads - - consumer goods - - tended to travel upstream.

The Railroad StoryThe advantage shifted to railroads beginning in 1830.Trains ran faster than boats.Trains ran when water was frozen.The first trains were horse drawn - - 10 mph.The first steam locomotives were introduced in the 1830s.

By 1900, they reached speeds of 50 to 60 mph.

Miles of Railroad in OperationYearMileage1830 231835 1,0981840 2,8181845 4,6331850 9,021185518,374186030,626Land Grants to Railroads

Trains Roll on

The Magic Marker Mark FactoryRound Wage$5.00Number of Marks ProducedAverage Cost Per Mark123ProductivityProductively measures the amount of output (finished goods and services) produced relative to the inputs (productive resources) used.Productivity Output InputLabor productivity is relatively easy input to measure since we can measure wages and hours. Productivity Output Labor Hour

Transportation and ProductivityHow may teamsters and wagons would it take to carry as much freight as one train can hold?Turnpikes, canals, steamboats, and trains freed labor to pursue other more specialized activities, such as farming or starting new businesses



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