So many things from just 50 to 100 years ago just aren't the same anymore. For instance, the way we move around from place to place has really changed over the years. Along with it, the way we transport merchandise and goods all around the world isn't the same anymore either. We now have bigger and faster boats and what doesn't get shipped on them, goes on a plane. We have overnight delivery nationwide and things can get shipped overseas in a day. It truly is incredible when compared with the way things were a short 50 years ago.
Jobs have predictably changed as well with the demise of the old shipping boats. It used to be that anyone of almost any age could get a job on a boat if they were big enough and strong enough. But now there are few such jobs available. 17 year old kids looking for jobs don't leave home to work on a boat anymore. They stay in high school and just canvas the malls hoping for a job in the malt shop to open up. They can't get a lot of the jobs they could in years past because of new government regulation put in place to "protect" them.
The longer you live the more rapidly things change it seems. Railroads are much less used now days as well. We still move a lot of merchandise with trucks but then there is the never ending debate about the use of oil. Coal, steam, oil, electricity: it doesn't matter what you use because someone will have a problem with it. The environmentalits make it hard to conduct most any type of business.
The steam era might be over and something new in its place but one thing is for sure: something better will always come along eventually. For now though, we can look back nostalgically and remember these wonderful boats and trains that helped our nation stay competitive with the rest of the trading world.