What Is Transportation & History Of Transportation – Before Wheel

If you are wondering as to what is transportation and how did it actually emerge then read on. This article will take you back in old age in order to explain in detail about transportation. Let us look in detail.

What Is Transportation?

Even though there are many ways to define the question as to what is transportation, I will rather put it in simpler terms for easier understanding. Transport is movement of goods, materials and people from one place to the other. If you are clear with what is transportation then let’s move further with the way it emerged.

History Of Transportation on Timeline

Before wheel was invented in this world, there were two methods for traveling. They are none other than the below:

  • By “walk”
  • Using “animals”

After many years, wheel was invented and this made it easy as well as fast for people to move from a place to the other. Today, an individual can very easily travel by sea, rail, road, air and also space. However, long ago, furthest someone traveled was while they drove or walked their animals such as sheep for finding shelter, food or to take their products to the market.

Initially people had the necessity to carry all the goods from a place to other in order to earn. Hence, before machines were invented, people almost walked all over. On the other hand, they could easily move only the things, which were light to carry. Over a period, people started imagining about various ways for moving heavier objects. So what were the methods that were involved with history of transportation initially? Take a look.

Carrying and Dragging

Long ago, people were required to move some large trees or stones for building shelters. People moved such things either by carrying or dragging in along ground. They even had the necessity to move huge animals that they killed for their food. These animals either were dragged or hung up in a pole and then two persons carried the each pole’s end. This was one way involved in history of transportation.

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People still thought and came up with various ideas for transportation. Then next era was of slavery and kings. Rich people usually had slaves or servants for carrying them. A rich man or a woman basically either lay on a bed or sat on a seat, which was then lifted by few people and carried forward. Rich never walked. Such kinds of beds and seats, which were carried by servants, are popularly known as “Litters” or “Sedans”.

Rollers and Runners

History of transportation then headed towards more convenient way of carrying heavier objects. This is when a man became more civilized. This was the era when sledges were introduced to the world so that it was very easy for moving heavy objects. Over 3000 years back, ancient Egyptians utilized sledges for moving larger statues, stones and other heavier objects. This is the reason why it took so many years to build a single massive pyramid. A sledge were moved or slid on runners. Later people recognized that they could easily move the bulk loads by laying a pole on ground. When a bulk load was pulled or pushed, it moved very easily on the top of rollers or rolling poles.

Animal Power

History of transportation still continued. Almost about 11000 years back, people began keeping some animals for wool, fur, milk and food. Later they began using strong animals like oxen for pulling heavier carts as well as ploughs. Other animals then were trained so that people can ride them. Even though ox is slow, they are very strong in pulling carts.

  • Donkeys: A donkey was the first animal that a man used for transportation. Donkeys were employed for carrying heavier loads at their backs. Donkeys were very easily trained for carrying stuffs like grain sacks, water and vegetables. These kinds of animals are popularly known as “pack animals”. Other pack animals other than a donkey are camel, buffalo, elephant, reindeer, llamas etc.
  • Dog Teams: A dog might not be that strong but if many dogs were allowed to work together, then they could easily pull heavier objects. Around 4000 years back, dogs were used for pulling sledges and still you can see them used by people living near North Pole. Dogs popularly called as “Huskies” are ideal to pull sledges.
  • Horses: People had begun riding a horse 5000 years back. Horses have the capacity to walk entire day along with rider at the back over 40 kilometers per hour.

First Wheels

Time passed and then people came up with the most creative invention – Wheel. Though it is the best invention made, the man who invented is still unknown. However, the 1st wheel was made before 5000 years in Mesopotamia.

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Wooden Wheels

The typical wheel was originally made with wooden planks that were joined together. Further, it was cut in the form of a circle. Wheels made like these were durable when compared to discs cut from tree trunk or log.


People though invented wooden wheel but still could not find it convenient. Therefore, history of transportation headed towards tires. For making wooden wheels to last even longer, metal hoops were fixed around outer edge. This kind of hoop is called as a Tyre. Then, a Tyre was made out of rubber that was filled with air. Air made tires springy. Today this is the invention you can say everywhere in the world.

I hope I have presented useful information to you and hope you are now clear with what is transportation as well as history of transportation. If you have anything to share with us, please do leave your valuable suggestions in the comments section.

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