Ways of the World: A History of the World's Roads and of the Vehicles That Used Them

Overview

This is the first comprehensive history of the world's roads, highways, and bridges, and of the people and vehicles that traversed them, from prehistoric times to the present. Encyclopedic in its scope, fascinating in its details, Ways of the World is a unique work for reference and browsing. Maxwell Lay considers the myriad aspects of roads and their users: the earliest pathways, the rise of wheeled vehicles and animals to pull them, the development of surfaced roads, the motives for road and bridge building, ...
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Overview

This is the first comprehensive history of the world's roads, highways, and bridges, and of the people and vehicles that traversed them, from prehistoric times to the present. Encyclopedic in its scope, fascinating in its details, Ways of the World is a unique work for reference and browsing. Maxwell Lay considers the myriad aspects of roads and their users: the earliest pathways, the rise of wheeled vehicles and animals to pull them, the development of surfaced roads, the motives for road and bridge building, and the rise of cars and their influence on roads, cities, and society. The work is amply illustrated, well indexed and cross-referenced, and includes a chronology of road history and a full bibliography. It is indispensable for anyone interested in travel, history, geography, transportation, cars, or the history of technology.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Lay, an Australian civil engineer, appreciates the relevance of roads to history. He brings to his study a sense of humor that often exploits the subject's potential bathos. Nonetheless, his deep interest and encyclopedic knowledge of the field show through and result in a book that fills certain lacunae in the history of transportation. Lay starts with the footpath, goes on to cover the technology of asphalt, and delves into bridge building (he even includes a list of extant Roman arched bridges). The internal combustion engine and its predecessors occupy much of his efforts, but he also discusses the evolution of the rules of the road and even street cleaning. There is information here for the high school research paper as well as for the engineer. Moreover, in his extensive footnotes and bibliography, Lay cheerfully gives credit where credit is due. He also adds a time line for those so inclined. Ways of the World is recommended for public libraries and all academic libraries.-- Clay Williams, Bluefield State Coll. Lib., W. Va.
Mary Carroll
Australian civil engineer Lay couldn't find "a good history of the world's roads," so he decided to write one. Drawing on others' primary research, he seeks "to provide a comprehensive history of roads and bridges and the vehicles that have used them" and to explore how roads have developed in relation to human society. After focusing on pathways and the wheeled vehicles and draft animals that used them, Lay moves on to an analysis of surfaced roads and the motives for their construction, of self-powered vehicles and the new types of surfaces they demanded, of the special issues raised by bridges, and of road-building considerations in the twentieth (and the twenty-first) century. "Ways of the World" is "a technical history," full of wheel loads, alternative pavements, and traffic control devices; inevitably, however, it also offers useful insights into where people around the world wanted to go, and when and how they decided to get there. Includes chronology, photos, charts, notes, references, and index; an appropriate addition for larger history of technology collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813517582
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Names and Units 3
1 The First Ways 5
Animal Paths 5
Human Intervention 6
Serving the Town 12
2 The Demands of Transport 19
Without the Wheel 19
Inventing and Using the Wheel 26
Determining the Width 34
Wheel Loads 37
3 Roadways 43
In the Beginning 43
Roman Roads - A Pinnacle Is Reached 52
Roads in Decline 57
Harbingers of Change 69
McAdam - Change and Controversy 75
Construction Techniques 84
Pavement Systems 88
The Americas 90
4 Motives and Management 93
Military Motives 93
Managing and Financing Roads 99
The Toll Alternative 104
Central Control 111
5 A Surge of Power 121
Carriages and Coaches 121
Transport in Transition 131
Steam Power Carries the World Forward 135
Bicycles and the Democratization of Travel 142
Tires and the Humanization of Travel 145
The Incessant Power of Internal Combustion 148
6 Power in the Road 167
The Arrival of the Car and the Truck 167
The Impact of the Car 173
Managing Travel 183
Driving on the Left or on the Right? 197
7 Pavements 203
The Problem with Macadam 203
Native Asphalt and Mastic 207
Natural Asphalt 211
Tar and Tarmacadam 217
Cement and Concrete 219
Paving Blocks and Rails 223
Manufactured Asphalt 229
Bitumen 242
Sprayed Surfaces 246
Pavement Research 247
8 Bridges 253
In the Beginning 253
The Arch 258
The Truss 275
Modern Bridges 287
9 From the Past into the Future 299
The Dominance of the Motor Vehicle 299
Road and Town Planning 301
Freeways 313
Managing the Car 322
Road-based Transport 326
Traffic Control 328
The Future 330
Terminology for Road Pavements 333
Chronology 335
Notes 353
References 361
Index 379
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