On January 18, 1848, the Leeuwarder Courant on the new phenomenon of competitions – the harbinger of modern sport. The newspaper used the wonderful concept for this The era of speeds.
Speed riding in Leeuwarden in 1855
A journey through the eleven towns of Frisia lasted at least 40 hours in 1848 on horseback. On January 22, 1848, it took four skaters sixteen hours, “for them to walk an average of one hour in 24 minutes,” said By Opregte Haarlemsche Courant. “When you take into account that the strength of a horse does not exceed this 40-hour walking distance in at least two days, one must admire the strength of perseverance of the aforementioned travelers.”
Travel was so slow in 1848, as the above quote shows, that kilometers per hour were not even mentioned. Now there are major political issues as to whether we can drive 120 or 130 kilometers an hour, but in the 19th century, life was so slow that it was talked about the number of minutes of commuting or hours of driving. necessary travel. Now we do some trips from Zeeland to Rotterdam hourswhere in the 19th century some days was.
Muscle strength and speed
It is a striking illustration of how life in the Netherlands had accelerated enormously by the middle of the 19th century. Since 1839 there was the train, with which travelers could move much faster than before, and that too over longer distances. It was true for people who could afford it.
And then more and more competitions were organized at the same time, which revolved around speed – on horseback, with skates or on foot. In 1844 there was one in The Hague swimming competition – according to Rotterdamsche Current “New of its kind”. It was the early years of the sport as a reflection of the acceleration of life.
Of Leeuwarder Courant summed it up well on January 18, 1848: “ When we take possession of the newspapers of this Province in summer, the many announcements draw our attention to harnessed races with horses, under man, with horses and cellars, parties galloping, yes. even races of men and boys; then when the cold breath of the winter frost spreads a net of ice rinks on the Vriesland, as teeming with people and as fast to run as the rail networks of our neighbors to the south and east, then we see the competition of force everywhere muscle and speed.
For example, the newspaper made a connection between the new phenomenon of the train and the growing popularity of competitions. This story alone was not brought up The iron age, such as the TV program on the history of the 19th century, but on The era of speeds.
This expression was not Leeuwarder Courant was invented, but already used by him in 1830 Monthly notebook loving general letters. This happened in an article about what they should call the time period at the time. The magazine The reviser, also examiners used the term for it Mechanical time, but literalists disagreed. “We take the liberty of considering whether the designation of TIME or CENTURY OF SPEEDS may not be more appropriate.” [Hoofdletters stonden in de originele tekst.] As an important reason, the monthly underlined that the speed of travel had considerably increased, “on land as on water”.
Speed in Zeeland
This phenomenon also applied to Zeeland in the 1930s, according to MW Polman Kruseman in his book Zealand from 1813 to 1913, published in 1914. In a chapter on the development of the provincial postal service, he noted that at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he had some difficulties with reliable delivery due to slow traffic. “All of this changed with the steam system,” says Polman Kruseman, “and by 1831 the 19th century was called“ the century of speeds ”.
With this, Polman Kruseman also indicated that around 1830 an acceleration of life was observed, making it a turning point in the 19th century, the year when the United Kingdom of the Netherlands collapsed due to the uprising in Belgium. After a relative social calm of fifteen years since the end of the French era, a revolutionary situation reigned, a puzzling succession of major events. Franciscus Johannes Hallo literally wrote “The Century of Speeds” in an 1830 book on “the impious revolt” of the Belgians.
Meet The era of speeds various social and political processes of the 19th century are thus captured, such as the nation-building of the Netherlands, industrialization, transportation options and the emergence of early sports.
This acceleration then continued. A journey through the eleven towns of Frisia lasted at least 40 hours in 1848 on horseback. In 1997, Henk Angenent completed this route in seven hours. And by car, it can be done within five hours.
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