Time Machine

Imagine yourself transported back in time two hundred years to the year 1809. In 1809 Robert Fulton patented the steamboat. Napoleon Bonaparte ruled France. The Industrial Revolution was beginning. People were immigrating from the British Isles and Europe to the United States. Gaslight was first used in Pall Mall in London two years prior. Only wealthy people had flushing lavatories. Edgar Allen Poe was born. The steam driven printing press had not yet come into being.

Do you think a person from two hundred years ago could imagine our world?

Last night I was up late reading stories over the internet and a post from a friend in southeastern India came into my inbox. I posted back that it was midnight where I was and asked him what time it was where he was. He answered that it was a hot and humid day and there a breeze coming off the ocean.

How long would it have taken a letter to travel around the world two hundred years ago?

This week I am traveling across country. I will travel approximately 1400 miles in a span of hours.

How long did it take for the first ocean going steamer to cross the Atlantic?

Think of all the medical technologies available to us. Cholera killed thousands in the nineteenth century.

Think of all the information available to me, an educated woman, over the internet. In the early nineteenth century, only a small percentage of the population was considered wealthy or middle class and a woman would have probably been uneducated and worked either as a servant, prostitute, street seller, or in horrific conditions requiring hard labor.

Travel forward in time now. What do you see two hundred years in the future?