On February 28, 1849, the first regular steamship service between the West Coast and East Coast of the United States completed its first run. The SS California arrived in San Francisco Bay four months and 21 days after leaving New York Harbor. The California traveled all the way around South America, navigating Cape Horn at the southern end of the continent.
 
The California's trip marked the first large-scale connection between the western and eastern United States. Before this time, passing messages and packages required overland travel by horse or wagon. This was neither practical nor efficient. Steamship service, followed by railroads, automobile highways, and airline routes helped to create faster and more efficient transcontinental travel. Traveling from New York to San Francisco has gone from a four-month, 21-day sea voyage to a six-hour airplane ride.
airline
Noun

system or business that provides air transportation.

Noun

body of water partially surrounded by land, usually with a wide mouth to a larger body of water.

Noun

point of land that extends into a body of water.

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

Noun

part of a body of water deep enough for ships to dock.

highway
Noun

large public road.

railroad
Noun

road constructed with metal tracks on which trains travel.

route
Noun

path or way.

transcontinental
Adjective

extending across an entire continent.