Echoes: Voices and Images... from Someplace Else
In little over a hundred years America went from a country that lacked a national road system to become a world leader in all forms of fast transportation. It was from 1807 to 1909 that the foundations of cheap fast travel forever changed us as a people and a nation. It all started with a steamboat trip up the Hudson which brought about a mechanical transportation revolution that came ashore and finally took to the air.
Our story is about transportation starting with the steamboat, the development of New York's Finger Lakes, and how this helped bring about the modern business world we take for granted. It took only a century for the magical formula of fast transportation speeding up local development and business growth to transform our nation and the world we live in. The reader should always keep in mind the endless cycle of speed, development and business that keeps the ball rolling as time and distance continue to shrink in this ever changing world.
Speed changed our lives to the point that we needed to escape it as the Excursionist Age of lakeside resorts, fine wines and dance halls came to life for the working weary and high rollers of the land. New York's Finger Lakes were the crown jewels of this age, having fine wineries and some of the best railroads and steamboats in the land.
Out of all of this energy emerged the "Wizard of Hammondsport," Glenn H. Curtiss! He would go on to become the fastest man on earth and in the air! Because of these events we no longer think in terms of distance, but instead in the time it takes to get there. We now think in sound bits, eat on the run, as our children live fast pace lives. Here is the story of how this came to be.