59. Inventions and Inventors.
   59、发明和发明者、

   1. If we wrote down the names of all the things people have invented since the beginning of the world, we would have a very long list. We would find that most of these items are improvements on previous inventions. We would also see that many of them have limited use for a particular field purpose.
   1、如果我们写下有史以来人们发明的所有事物的名字,我们会有一个很长的名单。我们会发现其中很多东西都是对以往发明的改进。我们也会看到它们其中很多发明都只是在特定领域或对特定目的的有限用途。
   2. Occasionally, however, there are inventions which change the way we live. Controlled fire and the wheel are two such inventions which allowed our ancestors to live a better life in safety. Agricultural tools invented about 10,000 years ago helped people learn to grow enough food to feed large populations. They actually led to the development of cities.
   2、然而,偶尔有发明会彻底改变我们的生活方式。受控制的火以及车轮就是这样两种发明,它们使我们的祖先在安全上获得更好的生活。大约发明于一万年前的农业工具帮助人们学会生产足够的食物以养活庞大的人口。它们事实上导致了城市的发展。
   3. We don't know about the inventors of fire and the wheel, but we can read about the people who invented other things which are important to our everyday lives. In one way or another, all of our lives are affected by their inventions.
   3、我们不知道是谁发明火和轮子,但是,我们可以通过阅读得知是谁发明了其它那些对我们日常生活很重要的东西。这些发明以这样或那样的方式,影响着我们所有人的生活。
   4. For more than 3,000 years, ships were powered by sails. Then in 1793, an American named Robert Fulton became interested in an idea which would mean the end of sailing ships. Many People knew how to built steamships, but the only ones they could build were small and impractical. No one truly believed that ships run by steam power would replace the beautiful and colorful sailing ships. They were wrong.
   4、在三千多年的时间里,船一直依靠帆获得动力。1793年,一位名叫罗伯特·富尔顿的美国人对一个想法产生了兴趣,这个想法意味着帆船时代的终结。很多人知道如何建造蒸汽船,但是他们只能建造一些小而不实用(的蒸汽船)。没有人真正相信以蒸汽为动力的船会取代漂亮而又种类繁多的帆船。他们错了。
   5. Fulton worked in France and England for a number of years, perfecting his ideas. Then in 1806, he returned to the United States and began to build the Clermont. It was an experiment to see if anyone could build a ship and operate it successfully as a business. Making money was the true test, since shipbuilders would not invest their money unless they knew that they could make a profit.
   5、富尔顿先生在法国和英国工作了许多年,他的想法逐渐完善。之后,在1806年,他返回美国开始建造克莱蒙特号(蒸汽船)。这是一次试验,确定是否可以建造一艘可成功地进行商业运行的蒸汽船。赚钱是真正的试验标准,因为除非造船商知道可以获利,否则不会把他们的钱投进去。
   6. The Clermont was 130 feet long, 16 1/2 feet wide and 4 feet deep. On August 11, 1807, the first commercial steamship traveled up the Hudson River from New York City to Albany. It made the round trip of 300 miles in 62 hours. That seems slow to us today, but 200 years ago it was a remarkable speed.
   6、克莱蒙特号蒸汽船有130英尺长,16、5英尺宽,4英尺深。1807年8月11日,第一艘商业蒸汽船从纽约市沿哈德逊河逆流而上,驶往阿尔巴尼。它花了62小时完成了300英里往返航行。今天在我们看来航行是缓慢的,但是200年前,这速度是异乎寻常的。
   7. Thousands of people watched the event, and most realized immediately how important it was. Within a few years, there were steamships in most parts of the world. Only four years later, the first steamship crossed the Atlantic Ocean. From that time to the present, sails have been used only for pleasure and sporting boats.
   7、成千上万的人观看了航行,大多数人立刻意识到这件事是多么重要。几年内,蒸汽船遍布世界上大多数地方。仅仅四年之后,第一艘蒸汽船横渡了大西洋。从那时起到现在,帆船的用途就仅限于娱乐和体育用船了。
   8. Travel and transportation were changed when the steamship was invented, and they were changed even more when the locomotive was invented by George Stephenson in 1814.
   8、发明蒸汽船之后,人们的旅行和交通运输都改变了。而在1814年,乔治·史蒂芬逊发明蒸汽机车后,变化更大了。
   9. Stephenson had seen something like a locomotive at a mine near his home in Killings worth, England. He like the idea and decided that he could build a better one. He changed the tracks from wood to steel and made the locomotive much larger. He had some help from a mine owner, and by July 25, 1814, he was ready.
   9、在英国金斯伍斯,史蒂芬逊先生曾经在家附近的某个矿场看到过类似蒸汽机车的东西。他喜欢这个主意,并且决定制造一个更好的蒸汽机车。他把路轨从木头改为钢轨,并且增大了机车体积。他得到了一位矿主的帮助,到了1814年7月25日,他已经准备就绪。
   10. The Blucher went only 4 miles per hour, but it pulled a load of 30 tons of coal up hill. It was only the beginning. Within eleven years, there were railroads all over England pulling large amounts of supplies and cargo in short spaces of time. On September 27, 1825, the first full passenger railroad went into operation. It had thirty cars and 300 passengers, and it traveled 15 miles per hour.
   10、布吕歇尔号蒸汽机车的时速只有4英里,但是它拖载了30吨煤上山。而这仅仅是开始。在此后11年内,可在很短的时间里运输大量商品和货物的铁路遍布全英国。1825年9月27日,第一条完全用于载客的铁路投入使用。客车有30个车皮、300名旅客,时速达15英里。
   11. Stephenson's railroad was efficient and profitable, and a new method of transporting freight and people was here to stay.
   11、史蒂芬逊的铁路有效且赚钱,一种运货和载人的新式交通方式面世了。