- from Titanic
Boats have been around since the time of the earliest people. Boats let them cross wide rivers and fish in deep waters. As people began to explore distant lands, they found ways to make larger and stronger boats.
Around A.D. 1000, Viking explorers from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark sailed to North America. Their boats were made of wood and as big as today’s mobile homes. But the crossing was dangerous. Icebergs, storms, poor navigational tools, and unreliable sail power took thousands of lives. Disease and unsanitary conditions were also problems.
By the late 1800s, people were crossing the Atlantic on ships. Ships are very big boats that go to sea. They were powered by steam, not wind, and they were built of iron and steel. Shipping companies began building giant ocean liners. In the early 1900s, the White Star Line was racing with rivals to build even bigger, better ships. In 1912, after three years under construction, the largest moving object in the world—the Titanic—was unveiled.