The wheel, believed to originate in the Near East around 3500 BC, was one of man's most useful inventions. Animals and water vessels were previously the only means of transport, but with this discovery enormous progress was now being made on land and sea. Then, with the advent of mechanization in the 1800's transport would be changed forever. Steam engines now powered both ships and trains until the diesel engine came into widespread use during World War II. However, the single most important development since the invention of the wheel was the creation of the automobile. Carl Benz came up with, and patented, the first gasoline car in 1885. With land and sea conquered, transportation took on another dimension, when brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright took to the air in their 'Flying Machine' on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Man now looked beyond the sky and Russian Cosmonaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon.
The technological progress that was made from the invention of the wheel until man walked on the moon was immeasurable. Not only did transportation profit from these inventions, all aspects of life benefited. Wheels are used to this day in almost all everyday objects, from tiny watch mechanisms to enormous jet engines.
With the advances made in transportation the world has also opened up economically - people learned different ways of dealing with business, finance and government. Employment and education also changed and our means of communication has surpassed anything we could have envisaged.