Brandon Keim, reporting for Nautilus:
History loves smooth transitions, such as horses to cars. “There’s an assumption that you have this clean break between eras,” says urban historian Martin Melosi. “In the real world, that doesn’t happen.” The idea of a neat transition from horses to the automobile age is a history-as-approved-by-victors myth that elides several decades when horse travel declined but automobiles were uncommon, used primarily to haul freight. The automobile as we now conceive it, a personal transport machine, wouldn’t come along for nearly half a century.