The first watercraft were canoes cut out from tree trunks. Early water transport was accomplished with ships that were either rowed or used the wind for propulsion, or a combination of the two. The importance of water has led to most cities, that grew up as sites for trading, being located on rivers or at sea, ofter at the intersection of two bodies of water. Until the Industrial Revolution, transport remained slow and costly, and production and consumption were located as close to each other as feasible.
The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century saw a number of inventions fundamentally change transport. With telegraphy, communication became instant and independent of transport. The invention of the steam engine, closely followed by its application in rail transport, made land transport independent of human or animal muscles. Both speed and capacity increased rapidly, allowing specialization through manufacturing being located independent of natural resources. The 19th century also saw the development of the steam ship, that sped up global transport.
With the development of the combustion engine and the automobile at the turn into the 20th century, road transport became more viable, allowing the introduction of mechanical private transport. The first highways were constructed during the 19th century with macadam. Later, tarmac and concrete became the dominant paving material. In 1903, the first controllable airplane was invented, and after World War I, it became a fast way to transport people and express goods over long distances.