Modes of Transportation

Old photos of different types of transportation - trains, planes, automobiles, and more - as well as the people who piloted them.
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Of air, water, and land, only flying through the air had eluded humans for millennia. Wheels on carts as well as river boats are known to have been used since 3500 B.C. But since that time - especially starting in the 19th century - modes of transportation have proliferated: Ships of all kinds, submarines, buggies, wagons, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and airplanes - from Piper Cubs to supersonic planes to rocket ships. Humans have come a long way since the first mode of transportation: legs.

Some interesting facts about types of transportation:

  • While the first hot air balloon flight was in 1783 France, the Wright Brothers are credited with the first flight of a fixed wing aircraft in 1903. In the 9th and 11th centuries, flight was briefly achieved in gliders - but the pilots were injured.


  • The bicycle was invented in the early 1800s in Germany. Over 200 years later, bicycles are enjoying a resurging popularity - for adults - due to their "earth friendly" profile.


  • The V2 rocket, launched in Nazi Germany in 1942, was the first step to space flight. The Soviet Union, in 1957, launched a satellite - Sputnik - and the "space race" was on.


  • While there may have been earlier examples of the automobile - a French engineer built a a steam-powered tricycle in 1769, Karl Benz as well as Gottlieb Daimler, with his partner Wilhelm Maybach, filed patents for the automobile on the same day in 1886. They had never met and filed the patents in different cities in Germany. Even today, you may recognize those surnames.




These vintage photos include almost every method of transportation used in the last two centuries.
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The image doesn't do the original justice. I love the yellowed look along with the threads breaking down on the edges of the paper. This was part of my family album pics. I got it from my mom. There is no info on the back. Her family is from Boone County, Ky.
Added Sep 12, 2015 by: Peggy Hefner
Peggy Hefner
79 favorites
A photo of Mabel Edith Cole Paczoch Dawson
People in this photo:
Aug 28, 1892 - Dec 11, 1978
Douglas,beside an ancient bi-plane (I think). Douglas volunteered in the Canadian Air Force at the beginning of WWII. According to family history, he was lost in a mission over Germany.
People in this photo:
around 1919 - Nov 8, 1941
A photo of a 1953 Mercury.
Added Apr 13, 2013 by: John Emmering
John Emmering
68 favorites
The gentleman was Ventura Cuen Ruiz 1888-1966, in Bakersfield California. Can someone tell us the year of this old Ford? So far, no one can.
People in this photo:
1888 - 1966
Added Jul 14, 2012 by: Cora Cuen
Cora Cuen
109 favorites
Earl Scott Ekleberry in front of train he operated.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Apr 17, 2012 by: Diane Nagel
Diane Nagel
358 favorites
Brilliant photo of the stern of the RMS Titanic. The RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner (billed as unsinkable) that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15th 1912 after colliding with an iceberg. In this photo, you can see some of the approximately 1,317 passengers (of which 107 were children) on deck. Many of the wealthiest people in the world at the time were on board. ( John Jacob Astor IV and his wife Madeleine Force Astor were the wealthiest.) J. P. Morgan, owner of the Titanic, was supposed to take the voyage but cancelled at the last minute. Most of the passengers were in 2nd and 3rd class bookings - mainly immigrants from Great Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia.
Added Apr 12, 2012 by: Daniel Pinna
Daniel Pinna
4.18k+ favorites
A photo of President Coolidge inspecting world flight plane at Bowling [i.e., Bolling] Field, [Washington, D.C.], 9/9/24
Son of John Milton and Mary Carter. Married to Mary Alice Havens-Carter.
People in this photo:
Feb 9, 1888 - Unknown
This is a photo of James Umensetter added by Starr Murphy on May 7, 2020.
People in this photo:
Apr 9, 1949 - September 1981
Added May 7 by: Starr Murphy
Starr Murphy
4 favorites
Martha, Bertraces ?, Margeruite, and Dad Twedt. Also: Thomas Tow ? Other photos found with this one were marked as being in Iowa or Oregon, between 1920s and 1940s.
Added May 7 by: Kat Schwartz
Kat Schwartz
313 favorites
Taken about 19 years after Al Scoffone started his business with one truck, this photo shows Al and his crew removing an old locomotive steam engine from the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is believed the locomotive was headed to the home of famed Southern Pacific railroad engineer Billy Jones, who used to work the rail line in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
People in this photo:
1924 - Mar 6, 2006
CLAIMED - photo has been returned to family members. Found at an antique store. Handwritten on back: "Little Agnes Bracken and her little pony and buggy. That is Mrs. Bracken holding him". Agnes was born in 1903, so I'm guessing at the date based on a wild guess at her age in the picture.
People in this photo:
1875 - Aug 7, 1920
Added Aug 21, 2019 by: Roxy Triebel
Roxy Triebel
1.25k+ favorites
A photo of a steam shovel taken by Earl Edward Smith. A Bucyrus Erie steam shovel loaded on an Ontario & Western railroad car. My uncle is not sure where this picture was taken. He thinks possibly Goshen, NY but it could have been somewhere else; e.g. Whitney Point. Not only did the O& W run to many places Earl worked, but their cars ran on other lines also. My uncle noticed that the shovel in the photo is a "light color". This reminds him of a story Earl told. Mr. Hopkins (Earl's boss) visited a job and said that was the "worst looking shovel, it needs to be painted." Earl or someone went to a store in town and bought paint. The only paint the store had enough of was pale green - so the shovel was painted green. My uncle thinks this might be that shovel. My uncle tells about the job in Goshen. Earl had worked for Mr. Hopkins at the Albany Sand & Gravel Co. for many years, both in Albany and on various construction sites in NY and PA. He left Albany Gravel in the 1940's and worked for Everett Van Kleeck at his garage in Kingston. Shortly after the garage closed in the 1950's, Mr. Hopkins called Earl. He had sent the last old steam shovel he had to a job in Goshen, NY (this could have been it sitting on the RR car). They were having trouble getting the old shovel to run and he asked Earl to go down and see if he could help. He did, and my uncle thinks Earl might have worked there for a while. Some years later when my uncle was working as a truck driver - hauling milk in a tanker, he passed through Goshen. He noticed an old shovel sitting there rusting away. Later he mentioned this to Earl. Earl asked some questions about the shovel and said "That's my old shovel. They didn't use steam shovels anymore after that job, so they just abandoned it there". A correspondent agrees that the photo does seem to be of Goshen, NY and notes that the house in the background looks like one across the street from where he grew up.
People in this photo:
May 1, 1900 - May 22, 1982
Added May 12, 2019 by: Roxy Triebel
Roxy Triebel
1.25k+ favorites
Obviously, this little ass is carrying a lot of precious cargo. All wheel drive baby buggy
Added Mar 3, 2019 by: Gaye Thomas
Gaye Thomas
341 favorites
A photo of Eallie Aser Watkins
People in this photo:
Jul 9, 1870 - Apr 17, 1933
Added Sep 25, 2018 by: Mike McCoy
Mike McCoy
4 favorites
A photo of Main St. in Dalton Kansas
Added Jul 1, 2018 by: Andy Scott
Andy Scott
97 favorites
"Bud" Confer and his 1932 Plymouth - Young Man & his Car...
People in this photo:
Feb 22, 1922 - 2000
Added Jun 8, 2018 by: Alan Confer
Alan Confer
11 favorites
A photo of William "Pearle" Poling, born 1876 in Michigan with son Clarence E Poling born 1903. This is probably Michigan before moving to Ohio later - hauling pipe.
People in this photo:
1876 - Unknown
Added Mar 21, 2018 by: Jon Henderson
Jon Henderson
116 favorites
A photo of a touring car near Bellingham Washington. Believed to be the Cummings family.
A photo of John M. Tesarik and his produce wagon in 1887 A farmer born in Bohemia, John married young widow Anna Manchel after Vincent Manchel died. They had a nice farm outside Spokane .
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Arthur Henson
People in this photo:
Feb 17, 1875 - Unknown
Added Jan 6, 2018 by: Michele Gardner
Michele Gardner
109 favorites
Vicksburg VA 1940. A James A Fazzi Sr Picture
Added Jul 5, 2017 by: Jim Fazzi
Jim Fazzi
78 favorites
A photo of Isaac C. Justice, his wife Lillie Fulmer Justice, and daughter - in a horse drawn wagon. Taken near Calcis, Shelby County, Alabama
People in this photo:
Apr 1, 1874 - Jul 11, 1923
Added Apr 12, 2017 by: Cathy Abernathy
Cathy Abernathy
43 favorites
A photo of Reuben Leight
People in this photo:
Jul 24, 1877 - January 1966
Added Feb 26, 2017 by: Kris Kelly
Kris Kelly
4 favorites
A photo of Reuben Leight
People in this photo:
Jul 24, 1877 - January 1966
Added Feb 26, 2017 by: Kris Kelly
Kris Kelly
4 favorites
Anthony Braunger's company Braunger Meats 1891 - present Sioux City, Iowa
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jul 11, 2016 by: Jan Doss
Jan Doss
558 favorites
This is a photo of Helen Alice Levine (Fowler) Moir and Dr John Wilson Moir added by Sarah Lennon on June 20, 2016.
People in this photo:
Aug 22, 1843 - Dec 11, 1926
Added Jun 20, 2016 by: Sarah Lennon
Sarah Lennon
17 favorites
A photo of Terry J Bergmann
People in this photo:
May 7, 1950 - Sep 23, 1978
A photo of a motorcycle around 1923.
A photo of Unknown Bills and Reynolds family Members - just sitting around the ol' campfire in Oklahoma, date unknown.
Added Jan 18, 2016 by: Kirsten Bullins
Kirsten Bullins
50 favorites
A photo of my Grandfather James Lofquist on his bike in Northern Michigan. Anyone know where to find a Cities Service Sign? I think they were once Citgo.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Annie Lee Merek or Meek & Archie Stevenson of Fulton, Kentucky. Vintage Photos Lost & Found on FB - Annie Lee Merek / Meek, Archie Stevenson, found in Memphis, Tennessee. Locations mentioned in album include Fulton, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of an unknown truck - 169
Added Dec 29, 2015 by: Drenda Medina
Drenda Medina
341 favorites
A photo of an unknown couple - 187
Added Dec 29, 2015 by: Drenda Medina
Drenda Medina
341 favorites
A photo of Jesse Darby with an early Indian Motorcycle *Photograph property of Daryl Johnson. Please do not copy without permission.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Dec 28, 2015 by: Daryl Johnson
Daryl Johnson
105 favorites
A photo of Myrtle N. Bryant in 1958, age 49 or 50.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Walter R Bosley. Goofing off acting Drunk.
People in this photo:
Oct 23, 1924 - around Sep 27, 1993
Added Nov 11, 2015 by: David Bosley
David Bosley
18 favorites
A photo of Jerry J Tucker
People in this photo:
around 1926 - Unknown
A photo of Irene Strauch standing next to her father, Stephen Strauch. In the car was Bill Strauch. They took a trip from Raymond Street, Detroit, Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio together to visit Tom Ontko & his family. As it turned out, the car was stolen. Bill purchased it from a dealer in Detroit. One day after waking up, he saw his car was gone and filed a police report. Checks revealed the vehicle had been towed by police when they learned it was stolen!
People in this photo:
Added Nov 3, 2015 by: Tommy Dale
Tommy Dale
85 favorites
A photo of Richard B Crippen on a train.
People in this photo:
Nov 18, 1916 - Aug 11, 1956
Added Oct 12, 2015 by: Stephen Crippen
Stephen Crippen
25 favorites
A photo of Larry Dean Smith
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Clarence Adams taken in Boone County, Kentucky.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Ernest C Cuffle (1939 - 1997)
People in this photo:
Sep 22, 1939 - Jul 6, 1997
Added Sep 19, 2015 by: Carole Lilly
Carole Lilly
3 favorites
A photo of Noel Dolley Atha
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Sep 12, 2015 by: Peggy Hefner
Peggy Hefner
79 favorites
A photo of the train station for the train that took vacationers to Mineral Springs Resort
A photo of George Andrew Ashworth, Jr. from my mother's (Mary Louise Ashworth) photo album who was his first cousin.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
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