Life in Early 1900's

Does anyone know what modes of transport were used in Europe in 1910-1920?
And also what significant events took place in Europe in 1910-1920? (other than world war one)
Thanks :D
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Historum Emeritas
Jul 2006
Back then many vehicles were still horse-drawn. However by 1920 the middle classes would have had cars like the Model T (no longer just for the very rich, now mass-produced and affordable). After WW1 many military trucks were bought by civilians, replacing prewar horse drawn carts.
Steam was particularly notable. Not just on the railways, you also had steam lorries and steam tractors (including the steamroller which continued to be used until the 1970s).
At sea you would see a lot of steamships, from luxury liners like Titanic to freighters.
At this time air travel was also developing, in the 1920s you had the first transatlantic flights. Aircraft you wouldn't see today included flying boats and airships.


Forum Staff
Mar 2008
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
Although you asked for info on Europe you can extrapolate from The Big Change by Frederick Lewis Allen. It is a brilliant social history that covers the first half of the 20th century 1900-1950. As you might guess the first half bring you up to 1925 more or less. It is written in colorful, informal style and details the changes in the American way of life during that era. Required reading no matter what country or region one is interested in. Full of detail that make you go 'Gee Wizz".
Oct 2008
Train, planes and automobiles. Well...scratch the planes. The first passenger flight occurred after WWI. But trains, ocean liners, motor cars, motor-cyles, and bicycles were popular modes of transport. The Model T was actually manufactured in 1908, but it was typically driven in America, as Europe had its own brands. The motorcar was expensive, but by the 1910s, it had become affordable for middle-classes, and a lot safer than its early days in the 1890s. Bicycles, after their hey-day in the 1880s and early 1890s, were very afforable. Other motorized forms of transportation were omnibuses, motor taxis and trams. Trains were of course a staple since their introduction in the 1840s, and by the 1910s, they went nearly everywhere--from the Russian steppes to tiny hamlets in Scotland. They were reasonably priced as well and very comfortable. Ocean liners were a big deal around this time, as every company not only drove to win the Blue Ribband, but to attract the immigrants desiring to go to the Americas.

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