One generation…

My grandparents on both sides saw this, and at least a couple of them rode in both…

Hard to imagine riding in a stagecoach as a child/teen, then fifty years later riding in an airplane with commercial service that made that week long trip in a stagecoach a two hour flight…

Studebaker was one company that went from building wagons in 1852 to a pretty successful line of cars up through the 1966. It seems as if we’ve stagnated since the 1980s with no real ‘improvements’ per se in the modes of travel. Still have cars, airplanes, trains, etc. But we STILL don’t have production flying cars, or SST’s anymore. And no more space shuttle, really nothing in development, and forced to rely a 1960 Soviet design to get up and back from the ISS.  Sigh…


One generation… — 21 Comments

  1. Old NFO, the 20th Century was an amazing period of scientific and technological advancement. Unfortunately, so much of it was driven by war or international tensions (and I am no anti-war liberal). However we are not completely stagnent:

    NASA is researching a new SST design that might be quieter and more efficient.

    SpaceX’s BFR may create a new space shuttle that will also provide international hypersonic travel.

    Boeing and SpaceX will be launching manned capsules this year for trasport to the ISS. The thing is they are only 1960’s technology improved.

  2. The crushing burden of regulation and bureaucracy at work.
    NASA can’t put a man into space. They’ve stated that they could not now replicate the Apollo program in a similar time span. And yet they have decided that they need to perform a “safety check” on the only American companies making any progress in space flight.

  3. My mom is similar for her age frame. She was born 2 years before the first Panzer ever came out of a factory and then used for the first time when she was four. Mail was written in onion skin paper to save weight even when they were taken by truck across the country or by ship across the ocean. She was from a time where you had to order days before a transcontinental phone call to call a relative and make an appointment at a Telecom exchange office. Now she calls VoIP three countries one right after another from the comfort of her chair.

    She was born and lived for more than a decade in a world without Penicillin and then finds out later in life she is allergic to it LOL

  4. MY grandparents and my stepfather grew up with horses and without electricity. Stepdad would tell stories of when his father bought a Model T. The family admired how much load it could carry, but hated having to push it across creeks and up hills in Nebraska. They also had to buy barrels of fuel for the thing. And if you had one too many at the bar, well, the horse knew the way home.

  5. I knew five great-grandparents, the oldest born in 1868. When a youngster, he and his family traveled to their new home in California by train. In those days that would mean a steam locomotive, quite likely a wood burner. As an adult, he moved his family from Illinois to Pennsylvania by automobile. He lived into the mid 1960s, so he saw man going from literal horsepower to space flight. That’s quite a span.

  6. My grandfather, born in 1876 in Boston, migrated with his parents to Missouri in a covered wagon some 8 years later. He lived to see space flight, albeit only the Russian version thereof.

  7. Grandma might have been such. Tales of “there’s the well, the wood, the stove” if hot water was desired… and later in life, she flew overseas…

  8. Innovation follows needs, IMO. Transportation needs are now adequately filled. Remember Sergey Gorshkov? The needs now seem to be in the area of information, hence smartphones. I have two aunts in their 80’s that learned to drive in a Model A that are better at technology that me, by far.

    Maybe we’ve, “Gone About As Far As You Can Go”

  9. That is why I think it is neat to talk with those of my patients who are 90 and older, and still mentally with it.

    I have wondered recently if as helpful as computers are in many ways, if they are holding us back as we become distracted with games, cat videos, and whatever the daily rant is. As a people, we don’t seem to spend much time thinking, and figuring stuff out, but instead having it spooned into our heads.

  10. Bill/McC- Agreed!

    Miguel- And she’s adapted fine, hasn’t she! 🙂

    McC- Yep, same problem in Texas!

    Jim/Rev/Orvan- Yes, an amazing time to be alive!

    WSF- Point!

    Suz- I think you’re right, people don’t have to ‘think’ anymore… sigh

  11. My grandmother was born in 1901 and died in 1997. She saw it all. A remarkable woman for a remarkable time.

  12. Environmentalism and bureaucracy have killed off innovation.

    So has the shift from engineers to MBA graduates as leaders of companies or leaders of divisions. Can’t innovate without spending money. Spending money is bad. Too many engineers not producing enough stuff. RIFF the engineers. Why don’t we innovate anymore?

    And… GroupMindThink. Groupmind does not innovate. Individuals do.

    That, and space aliens. You can always blame space aliens.

  13. My mother came to Texas in a covered wagon. No, I’m not a hundred and fifty years old. Grandpa was a horse trader and that was how he traveled. (He adapted to the horseless carriage by becoming a car parts dealer. He adapted to the Depression by becoming a small-time fence. At least, the family insists it was only small-time.)

  14. Technology reached its peak with the Number 2 Pencil, the DC-3, and the Colt 1911 … OK, maybe the 1911A1.
    There’s a Studebaker museum in South Bend, Ind. It’s on my list of “places to visit.”
    Last large scale use of Studebaker trucks? On the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The US Lend-Lease program sent ship loads of Studebakers from west coast ports to Vladavostok. So many in fact that for decades the Russian slang for “truck” was “Studebaker.” So reliable that over 20 years later LRRP units were reporting (with justifiable pride) that it took a B-52 strike to stop a Studebaker.

  15. Sad to say that I think my grandparents, parents and myself have had the privilege of living in this country when it came to it’s peak in all respects. We have reached the crest and have started on the slippery slope to dissolution, degeneracy , and despair. I don’t think there is going to be any way to recover. We have met, and/or exceeded all the markers along the road to depravity and all the reasons that every single “democracy ” that EVER WAS came to an and! You Know, multi-culturism, and death by taxation of one sort or another! We are toast; and I feel exceeding bad for all the young people in this country who have no idea what is coming down the pike; because of the lack of TRUE history being taught in the schools for the last 40-50 years!!

    • I can honestly say that at least some of the new generation have an idea what’s coming, and they’re actively working to arrange a different future. But that future will, necessarily, look quite different from the past.

      We are the last generation to know what America looked like. Well, some of us,anyways. I don’t count hippies and commies as part of ‘we’.

  16. All- Thanks for the comments and can’t disagree with anyone… sigh

    Posted from my iPhone.

  17. My fine dad was born in 1903 and when he was 5 years old his family and others traveled in covered wagons from Arkansas to Western Oklahoma with all of their livestock. My grandmother told me that when they crossed the South Canadian river they were pulled by a number of horses across the river and dad was crying telling her he wanted to go to Oklahoma through the weeds and not the water. When they settled outside of Erick Oklahoma they used horses, he rode between two older sisters on a one eyed old horse to school every day and he was 14 years old before he ever rode in a car.

    By 1968 he was an Insurance Company Executive and flew on passenger jet with my mom over to Europe where I was stationed in Germany, that was a 60 year span of time.

    Pop died in 1995 and his sis who was born January 1900 lived until 2001 she talked about a lot of the changes in her life and the biggest change she said was radio when people stopped talking and singing in their homes and let outside entertainment in. Before that she said her mom and sister played the piano and sang, they sang harmony as they did chores and dishes and if you wanted music you made it yourself and if you wanted news you read the paper but in the homes you were present with your family without outsiders. That was her take on the 20th Century.

    That was my dad’s side of the family on my mom’s her granddad was born in 1920, outlived two wives and died in his 70’s before his last kid was born and that young girl baby had a small town in the Texas panhandle named after her.

  18. Hey Old NFO;

    I remember flying to the land of the mouse and the B757 was over the clouds and I commented to the spousal unit, “50 years ago, what we are seeing would have been impossible except for a select few, and now everyone takes it for granted.”