Welcome to The Lost Annals of Transport, where yesterday’s news is today’s blog post.
As a journalist and history buff, I’ve long been fascinated by the history of transportation, especially freight transportation. That interest advanced greatly when I edited the 100th anniversary issue of Traffic World in 2007.
Traffic World is now history itself, after being folded into The Journal of Commerce, another venerable freight transportation publication, in 2009. The JOC was founded in 1827 by none other than the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel F.B. Morse. As for me, I’m now senior editor for trucking at the JOC.
The Lost Annals is an outlet for my interest in history, a home for brief stories on transportation that otherwise might not see the light of day and for long-forgotten stories from decades past.
Some of those stories are still pertinent today — truck driver hours of service and the so-called truck driver shortage, for example, have been problematic issues since the first “autotruck” hit the streets. We are struggling to keep up with fast-paced change in technology, just like our 19th century predecessors.
The foundation for life as we know it today, for our $16.6 trillion U.S. economy, was created by people who dug canals, hammered rail spikes, flew the first airplanes and paved the first Interstate highways. Their journeys may have ended, but their work and its legacy endures.
The next time you choose an expedited shipping option when shopping online, remember 1869 and how the transcontinental railroad connected two coasts. Remember how James E. Casey delivered packages on foot in 1907, the year he founded the company that became UPS.
I hope you enjoy these stories, clippings, photos and occasional ramblings. If you’d like to contribute to The Lost Annals, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— William B. Cassidy