The Strange Roots Of Globalization (And Its Discontents) - "Today's global economy has its roots in the frivolity of spice."
In the winter of 1980 The Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road) abandoned almost 2000 miles of track between Miles City, Montana and Cedar Falls, Washington -- part of a passenger and freight shipping route known as the “Pacific Coast Extension.” Today, what's left of the Extension is "cut up among different railroads and the best engineered rail line through the rugged Rockies and Cascades is but weeds and trails, a vital transportation artery no longer available to shippers and the American economy." But in August 1980, before it was abandoned, two former locomotive firemen and engineers spent $400 to rescue a track-maintenance railway car, a 1952 M-19 Fairmont Speeder, from a scrap heap in a Maine train yard. They used it to travel the route and took photos along the way. [more inside]
Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
When it comes to railways, the British are famous for their colonial legacy of one of the world's most extensive railway networks built across then British India but their lesser known and far grander vision was the Cape to Cairo railway network intended to stretch across the sea of colonial pink on the African continent. Left incomplete due to politics and geography, most of it is still almost as it was built in its day. [more inside]
In the seven years since its last* appearance in the blue, Cliff Muskiet's Stewardess Uniform Collection has grown to more than 1,000 different uniforms from more than 400 different airlines. [more inside]
Worcy Crawford ran the only bus company that would transport colored passengers in pre-Civil Rights Act Birmingham. Mr. Crawford recently passed away and now the buses sit in disrepair.
Since 1870, the Hatton Ferry in Hatton, VA, has been helping people and vehicles cross the James River - under pole power [ferry is cable-assisted, and poling starts at 3:42]. Before the nation was connected by a network of bridges, pole barges like this were a common means of transportation across smaller waterways. Hatton Ferry is thought to be the very last working survivor of those thousands of the pole-driven ferries; but today, due to DOT budget constraints, it may go out of existence. [more inside]
Jesus Boots perfected! NYT: In the last 150 years, Americans have patented about 100 water-walking inventions. The first, in 1858, was by H. R. Rowlands, who lived in Boston, not far from where Mr. Rosen resides, in Newton, Mass. Most of the subsequent patents, Mr. Rosen said, are iterations of that same idea. "Unfortunately," Mr. Rosen observed, "none of them actually work."
NYCRoads.com is an exhaustive history of the expressways, parkways, and river crossings that shaped metro New York over the last century and a half.