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Story Archives

Progress Story

Edgar Allen Poe

By Edgar Allen Poe

There is, perhaps, no point in the history of the useful arts more remarkable than the fact, that during the last two thousand years, the world has been able to make no essential improvements in road-making. It may well be questioned if the Gothamites of 3845 will distinguish any traces of our Third Avenue: and in the matter of street-pavement, properly so called, although of late, universal attention has been directed to the subject, and experiment after experiment has been tried, exhausting the ingenuity of all modern engineers, it appears that we have at last settled on a result which differs in no material degree, and in principle not at all, from that which the Romans attained, as if instinctively, in the Via Appia, Via Tusculana, and others. The streets in Pompeii were constructed on the very principle which is considered best by the moderns: or if there be any especial variation, it certainly is not to the credit of modern ingenuity.

What’s one way that the world has improved in the last ten years, and one way it hasn’t?