Great Inventions of the 19th Century
In Europe, the main impetus to the development of transport had been given by the Industrial Revolution to bring together two physically separated components: the industrial centres and the natural resources. The changes in transport affected relations between Europe and the Arab and Ottoman world. In general, innovations in transportation were celebrated with a deep trust in the triumph of progress. Contacts, travelling and trade became easier. However, both local policy and the international context also affected transport. Concessions were a way for European powers to enter Arab and Ottoman regions; the concessions’ controversial presence was either accepted, as a way to speed up modernisation, or refused, as an obstacle to independence. Transport improved communication but at the same time it was a means to control and penetrate entire regions. The introduction of steamships and railways and the building of a network of roads vastly accelerated communication both outside and within the region.
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Modern roads
Vue panoramique de l'Isthme de Suez et tracé direct du canal des deux mers


National Library of France, Paris, France

Louis Maurice Adolphe Linant de Bellefonds

Louis Maurice Adolphe Linant de Bellefonds, also known as Linant Bey, was a French painter, traveller and explorer. In Egypt, he collaborated with Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha and Sa‘id Pasha and was appointed as director of the public works. He was one of the experts the governors hired in order to acquire technical know-how.

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Innovative technologies
Postal services and telecommunications
Water: The fount of all life