‘Abdu’l-Bahá undertook His travels West just after the turn of the century. This was a time marked by significant changes in the worlds of transportation and technology. Through advances in technology and in the processes of production, a diverse means of travel was becoming more widely and readily accessible to the ordinary person, and, as a result, changing patterns of life and conceptions of distance.
During His journeys, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá employed a range of transportation modes. Without the ready availability of these means of transport, the travels ‘Abdu’l-Bahá undertook would have been much more arduous, complicated, and financially burdensome. This day in history marks the end of His voyage on the SS Corsican and His first steps in the land of the West.
Later on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá set off on His journey across the Atlantic aboard a steam ship, which would continue to be the choice means of sea travel through the mid-1900s. During His time on the S.S. Cedric, He once commented:
“Steam power is truly a wonderful thing. If there were no such power, how would the vast oceans have been crossed? What wonderful means God has supplied and what confirmations the Blessed Beauty has conferred. Otherwise, how could we be here? What have we in common with these places?”
(Mahmud’s Diary, pp33).