This Map Shows Just How Long Travel Took 100 Years Ago

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Modern jet-setters may bemoan the stresses of long-haul travel, but they should be grateful they’re travelling in 2015 when travel-time is measured in hours, rather than in days, like the metric used in this 1914 map.

Intelligent Life magazine has unearthed this wonderful isochronic map, which shows how long it would take, in days, to travel to locations around the world. First published by John G. Bartholomew in “An Atlas of Economic Geography”, you can see a larger version by clicking on the image to see it in a new window. The map shows that you could travel as far west as the Azores and as far east as the Russian city of Perm within five days from London. Bump the limit up to ten days, and you travel from London to Winnipeg.

But what’s most interesting is the difference in time it takes to cross entire continents: the maps shows that you can scoot from London to the depths of Siberia in under ten days, for instance, and as soon as you hit the east coast of the US you can travel a respectable distance, too. The first of those observations is a clear giveaway as to why that’s the case, in the shape of Trans-Siberian Railway. By 1914, the railways were well-established in Europe and the US, too, making travel far more swift than it had been in the past.

Less so Africa and South America, though, where any travel inland from the coast took weeks. Now, flights mean that travel durations of more than two or three days are, mercifully, rare. [Intelligent Life]