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In 1776, America was really beginning to come into its own. The 13 American colonies had been in existence for over 150 years and there were plenty of merchants, planters, tavern keepers, doctors and more. The US had a thriving middle class, unlike many other countries and farmers shipped tons of corn, wheat and rice to Europe and the West Indies in order to provide an income which paid for private schools, expensive gowns, and carriages. Travel across America and from America to England was also beginning to take a new turn, with expansive carriages, well-travelled roads between cities and boats to England becoming more commonly used that ever.

Horse and Buggy

At this time, horse and buggy (also known as a horse and carriage or roadster) were the most common form of transport, particularly for the middle-upper classes that existed at the time. In fact, the horse and buggy was a primary mode of short-distance personal transport until 1915, and although riding horseback in towns and rural areas was still common until around 1815 the growing use of buggies allowed local travel to expand with more railroads. In the late 19th century bicycles became another factor in urban personal transport. There were major routes that were commonly used by Americans to travel by, with one of the main ones being the Boston Post Road which ran from Boston to NYC along with many others to other major towns and cities such as Philadelphia. These were the main coach routes and there would also be a number of guideposts along the way. These roads were well travelled by horse and carriage, and horseback, with a number of inns located along the way. At this time inn-keepers were very well-off because of the amount of people who relied on them for food and overnight shelter on their trips between large towns.


Local travel changed dramatically in the early 1800s, due to the Erie Canal opening in 1825. This provided access from the East Coast to Lake Erie and all of the river systems that associated with it. This created a series of canals following this, making travel even easier. By 1776, the Atlantic Ocean became used for trade and poured books, magazines, newspapers, and copies of debates from Parliament in England. It would have taken approximately 1-2 months to go from Boston to England at this time, and the return trip taking around 6 months due to boats having to go against the Gulf Stream current. During this time, the ESTA was non-existent but the Naturalization Act of 1790 required only certain people to apply for citizenship which affected who came to the US at this time. The Postal Service was also developed to deliver mail between America and England not long after 1776, which developed this journey even more as boats began to travel towards Portugal and Africa and back up along the American coastline to total only around 3 months.


The first automobile manufacturing company was set up by Charles Edgar Duryea and his brother Frank, and they created the first successful gas-powered car in the country in 1893. This followed on from fellow America George Baldwin Selden’s Gasoline combined internal combustion engine with carriage design in 1876. Thousands of engineers and suppliers began to develop, assemble and market their form of cars, with Rason E Olds and Thomas B. Jeffery beginning to mass produce their automobiles, and Henry Ford producing an automobile that middle-class Americans could afford. By 1916 cars began to sell at the equivalent of around $19,028 in 2016 dollars, creating a widening market for cars. After this, the practicality of the automobile was questioned due to the lack of suitable road systems. Therefore The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 was enforced and funded $75 million to help build the roads.