History Podcasts

George Stephenson

George Stephenson

George Stephenson, the son of a colliery fireman, was born at Wylam, eight miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 9th June, 1781. The cottage where the Stephenson family lived was next to the Wylam Wagonway, and George grew up with a keen interest in machines. (1)

George's first employment was herding cows but when he was fourteen he joined his father at the Dewley Colliery. George was an ambitious boy and at the age of eighteen he began attending evening classes where he learnt to read and write. (2)

According to Maurice W. Kirby: "Stephenson also received instruction in arithmetic, a subject which he mastered quickly, although theoretical calculation remained beyond his capacity. Writing, too, proved to be a persistent difficulty, and in later life he was obliged to employ a secretary to write for him". (3)

Stephenson married Frances Henderson, the daughter of a poor farmer, on 28th November 1802. His only son, Robert Stephenson, was born the following year. Like many colliery workers, he took on a variety of freelance jobs, notably clock-mending. Samuel Smiles has pointed out: "He also diligently set himself to study the principles of mechanics, and to master the laws by which the engine worked. For a workman, he was even at that time more than ordinarily speculative, often taking up strange theories, and trying to sift out the truth that was in them." (4)

Francis Stephenson, who was twelve years older than her husband, died of consumption in May 1806 soon after giving birth to a daughter who also died. He left his young son Robert in the care of relatives and went to Scotland in search of better-paid work but he was forced to return when his father was blinded in a mining accident. (5)

In 1808 he found employment as an engineman at Killingworth Colliery. Every Saturday he took the engines to pieces in order to understand how they were constructed. This included machines made by Thomas Newcomen and James Watt. By 1812 Stephenson's knowledge of engines resulted in him being employed as the colliery's engine wright. The following year the mine-owners asked Stephenson to build a steam engine. (6)

In 1813 Stephenson became aware of attempts by William Hedley and Timothy Hackworth, at Wylam Colliery, to develop a locomotive. Stephenson successfully convinced his colliery manager, Nicholas Wood, his to allow him to try to produce a steam-powered machine. By 1814 he had constructed a locomotive that could pull thirty tons up a hill at 4 mph. Stephenson called his locomotive, the Blucher, and like other machines made at this time, it had two vertical cylinders let into the boiler, from the pistons of which rods drove the gears. (7)

Where Stephenson's locomotive differed from those produced by John Blenkinsop, Hedley and Hackworth, was that the gears did not drive the rack pinions but the flanged wheels. The Blucher was the first successful flanged-wheel adhesion locomotive. Stephenson continued to try and improve his locomotive and in 1815 he changed the design so that the connecting rods drove the wheels directly. These wheels were coupled together by a chain. Over the next five years Stephenson built sixteen engines at Killingworth. Most of these were used locally but some were produced for the Duke of Portland's wagonway from Kilmarnock to Troon. (8)

Roger Osborne, the author of Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution (2013) has argued: "Stephenson was a brilliant builder of locomotives, his greatest contribution was to bring engines and railways together. He improved the tracks, which were still liable to buckle or break even if they were made of cast iron, and worked to distribute the weight of the engines through more axles." (9)

Working at a colliery, George Stephenson was fully aware of the large number of accidents caused by explosive gases. In his spare time Stephenson began work on a safety lamp for miners. By 1815 he had developed a lamp that did not cause explosions even in parts of the pit that were full of inflammable gases. Unknown to Stephenson, Humphry Davy was busy producing his own safety lamp. (10)

The owners of the colliery were impressed with Stephenson's achievements and in 1819 he was given the task of building a eight mile railroad from Hetton to the River Wear at Sunderland. While he was working on this Stephenson became convinced that to be successful, steam railways had to be made as level as possible by civil engineering works. The track was laid out in sections. The first part was worked by locomotives, this was followed by fixed engines and cables. After the railway reached 250 feet above sea level, the coal wagons travelled down over 2 miles of self-acting inclined plane. This was followed by another 2 miles of locomotive haulage. George Stephenson only used fixed engines and locomotives and had therefore produced the first ever railway that was completely independent of animal power. (11)

On 19th April 1821 an Act of Parliament was passed that authorized a company owned by Edward Pearse to build a horse railway that would link the collieries in West Durham, Darlington and the River Tees at Stockton. Stephenson arranged a meeting with Pease and suggested that he should consider building a locomotive railway. Stephenson told Pease that "a horse on an iron road would draw ten tons for one ton on a common road". Stephenson added that the Blutcher locomotive that he had built at Killingworth was "worth fifty horses". (12)

That summer Edward Pease took up Stephenson's invitation to visit Killingworth Colliery. When Pease saw the Blutcher at work he realised George Stephenson was right and offered him the post as the chief engineer of the Stockton & Darlington company. It was now now necessary for Pease to apply for a further Act of Parliament. This time a clause was added that stated that Parliament gave permission for the company "to make and erect locomotive or moveable engines". Stephenson wrote to Pease: "I am glad to learn that the Parliament Bill has been passed for the Darlington Railway. I am much obliged by the favourable sentiments you express towards me, and shall be happy if I can be of service in carrying into execution your plans". (13)

Stephenson began working with William Losh, who owned an ironworks in Newcastle. Together they patented their own make of cast iron rails. In 1821 John Birkinshaw, an engineer at Bedlington Ironworks, developed a new method of rolling wrought iron rails in fifteen feet lengths. Stephenson went to see these malleable rails and decided they were better than those that he was making with Losh. Although it cost him a considerable amount of money, Stephenson decided to use Birkinshaw's rails, rather than those he made with Losh, on the Stockton & Darlington line.

In 1823 Edward Pease joined with Michael Longdridge, George Stephenson and his son Robert Stephenson, to form a company to make the locomotives. The Robert Stephenson & Company, at Forth Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, became the world's first locomotive builder. Stephenson recruited Timothy Hackworth, one of the engineers who had helped William Hedley to produce Puffing Billy, to work for the company. The first railway locomotive, Locomotion, was finished in September 1825. The locomotive was similar to those that Stephenson had produced at the collieries at Killingworth and Heaton. (14)

Work on the track began in 1822. George Stephenson used malleable iron rails carried on cast iron chairs. These rails were laid on wooden blocks for 12 miles between Stockton and Darlington. The 15 mile track from the collieries and Darlington were laid on stone blocks. While building this railway Stephenson discovered that on a smooth, level track, a tractive force of ten pounds would move a ton of weight. However, when there was a gradient of 1 in 200, the hauling power of a locomotive was reduced by 50 per cent. Stephenson came to the conclusion that railways must be specially designed with the object of avoiding as much as possible changes in gradient. This meant that considerable time had to be spent on cuttings, tunnels and embankments. (15)

The Stockton & Darlington line was opened on 27th September, 1825. Large crowds saw George Stephenson at the controls of the Locomotion as it pulled 36 wagons filled with sacks of coal and flour. The initial journey of just under 9 miles took two hours. However, during the final descent into the Stockton terminus, speeds of 15 mph (24 kph) were reached.

The Durham County Advertiser reported: "The hour of ten arrived before all was ready to start. About this time the locomotive engine, or steam horse, as it was more generally termed, gave note of preparation. The scene, on the moving of the engine, sets description at defiance. Astonishment was not confined to the human species, for the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air seemed to view with wonder and awe the machine, which now moved onward at a rate of 10 or 12 mph with a weight of not less than 80 tons attached to it... The whole population of the towns and villages within a few miles of the railway seem to have turned out, and we believe we speak within the limits of truth, when we say that not less than 40 or 50,000 persons were assembled to witness the proceedings of the day." (16)

The Stockton & Darlington line successfully reduced the cost of transporting coal. By 1825, locomotives on the railway were hauling trains of up to eighty tons at speeds of fifteen miles an hour. The reduction in his transport costs enabled Pearse to cut the price of his coal from 18s. to 8s. 6d. a ton. One newspaper reported that the "Stockton & Darlington rail-road, a work which will for ever reflect honour on its authors, for the new and striking manner in which it practically demonstrated all the advantages of the invention." (17)

In 1826 Stephenson was appointed engineer and provider of locomotives for the Bolton & Leigh railway. He also was the chief engineer of the proposed Liverpool & Manchester railway. Stephenson was faced with a large number of serious engineering problems. This included crossing the unstable peat bog of Chat Moss, a nine-arched viaduct across the Sankey Valley and a two-mile long rock cutting at Olive Mount. (18)

The directors of the Liverpool & Manchester company were unsure whether to use locomotives or stationary engines on their line. To help them reach a decision, it was decided to hold a competition where the winning locomotive would be awarded £500. The idea being that if the locomotive was good enough, it would be the one used on the new railway.

The competition was held at Rainhill during October 1829. Each competing locomotive had to haul a load of three times its own weight at a speed of at least 10 mph. The locomotives had to run twenty times up and down the track at Rainhill which made the distance roughly equivalent to a return trip between Liverpool and Manchester. Afraid that heavy locomotives would break the rails, only machines that weighed less than six tons could compete in the competition. Ten locomotives were originally entered for the Rainhill Trials but only five turned up and two of these were withdrawn because of mechanical problems. Sans Pariel and Novelty did well but it was the Rocket, produced by George and his son, Robert Stephenson, that won the competition. (19)

The Liverpool & Manchester railway was opened on 15th September, 1830. Fanny Kemble was an invited guest to the proceedings: "The most intense curiosity and excitement prevailed, and though the weather was uncertain, enormous masses of densely packed people lined the road, shouting and waving hats and handkerchiefs as we flew by them. We travelled at 35 miles an hour (swifter than a bird flies). When I closed my eyes this sensation of flying was quite delightful. I had been unluckily separated from my mother in the first distribution of places, but by an exchange of seats which she was enabled to make she rejoined me when I was at the height of my ecstasy, which was considerably damped by finding that she was frightened to death, and intent upon nothing but devising means of escaping from a situation which appeared to her to threaten with instant annihilation herself and all her travelling companions." (20)

The prime minister, the Duke of Wellington, and a large number of important people attended the opening ceremony that included a procession of eight locomotives. Unfortunately, when the train stopped at a halfway point to take on water, one of the government ministers, William Huskisson, got down from his carriage and stepped on to the parrallel track where he was hit by a locomotive travelling in the opposite direction. He died later that day. (21)

Thomas Southcliffe Ashton has argued that "it was only with the newly constructed Liverpool and Manchester Railway, that the potentialities of steam transport were fully realized". (22) It soon became clear that large profits could be made by building railways and railways quickly became the basic infrastructure for the nation's transport. As they were built and run by individual companies at their own risk, the result was a fairly haphazard network, including many duplications of routes. (23)

George Stephenson continued to work on improving the quality of the locomotives used on the railway lines he constructed. This included the addition of a steam-jet developed by Goldsworthy Gurney that increased the speed of the Rocket to 29 mph.

In 1838 Stephenson purchased Tapton House, a Georgian mansion near Chesterfield. Stephenson went into partnership with George Hudson and James Sanders and together they opened coalmines, ironworks and limestone quarries in the area. Stephenson also owned a small farm where he experimented with stock breeding, new types of manure and animal food. He also developed a method of fattening chickens in half the usual time. He did this by shutting them in dark boxes after a heavy feed. (24)

Stephenson's second wife, Elizabeth Hindley, died in 1845. George Stephenson married for a third time just before he died at Tapton House, Chesterfield on 12th August, 1848.

I am glad to learn that the Parliament Bill has been passed for the Darlington Railway. I am much obliged by the favourable sentiments you express towards me, and shall be happy if I can be of service in carrying into execution your plans.

The novelty of the scene, and the fineness of the day, had attracted an immense concourse of spectators, the fields on each side of the railway being literally covered with ladies and gentlemen on horseback, and pedestrians of all kinds. The train of carriages was then attached to a locomotive engine, built by George Stephenson, in the following order: (1) Locomotive engine, with the engineer (Mr. George Stephenson) and assistants. (2) Tender, with coals and water; next, six wagons, laden with coals and flour; then an elegant covered coach, with the committee and other proprietors of the railway; then 21 wagons, fitted up for passengers; and last of all, six wagons laden with coal, making altogether, a train of 38 carriages. By the time the cavalcade arrived at Stockton, where it was received with great joy, there were not less than 600 persons within, and hanging by the carriages.

I observe you have thought proper to insert the last number of the Philosophical Magazine your opinion that my attempts at the safety tubes and apertures were borrowed from what I have heard of Sir Humprey Davy's researches. The principles upon which a safety lamp might be constructed I stated to several persons long before Sir Humphrey Davy came into this part of the country. The plan of such a lamp was seen by several and the lamp itself was in the hands of the manufacturers during the time he was here.

It will hereafter be scarcely believed that an invention so eminently scientific, and which could never have been derived but from the sterling treasury of science, should have been claimed on behalf of an engine-wright of Killingworth, of the name of Stephenson - a person not even possessing a knowledge of the elements of chemistry.

To tell you the truth although it would put £500 in my pockets to specify my own patent rails, I cannot do so after the experience I have had.

The rage for railroads is so great that many will be laid in parts where they will not pay.

This railway is the most absurd scheme that ever entered into the head of a man to conceive. Mr. Stephenson never had a plan - I do not believe he is capable of making one. He is either ignorant or something else which I will not mention. His is a mind perpetually fluctuating between opposite difficulties; he neither knows whether he is to make bridges over roads or rivers, or of one size or another; or to make embankments, or cuttings, or inclined planes, or in what way the thing is to be carried into effect. When you put a question to him upon a difficult point, he resorts to two or three hypothesis, and never comes to a decided conclusion. Is Mr. Stephenson to be the person upon whose faith this Committee is to pass this Bill involving property to the extent of £400,000/£500,000 when he is so ignorant of his profession as to propose to build a bridge not sufficient to carry off the flood water of the river or to permit any of the vessels to pass which of necessity must pass under it.

When my father came about the office he sometimes did not well know what to do with himself. So he used to invite Bidder to have a wrestle with him, for old acquaintance sake. And the two wrestled together so often, and had so many falls (sometimes I thought they would bring the house down between them), that they broke half the chairs in my outer office.

George Stephenson told me as a young man that railways will supersede almost all other methods of conveyance in this country - when mail-coaches will go by railway, and railroads will become the great highway for the king and all his subjects. I know there are great and almost insurmountable difficulties to be encountered; but what I have said will come to pass as sure as you live.

Left home in company with John Dixon to attend the internment of George Stephenson at Chesterfield. I fear he died an unbeliever. When I reflect on my first acquaintance with him and the resulting consequences my mind seems lost in doubt as to the beneficial results - that humanity has been benefited in the diminished use of horses and by the lessened cruelty to them, that much ease, safety, speed, and lessened expense in travelling is obtained, but as to the results and effects of all that railways had led my dear family into, being in any sense beneficial is uncertain.

Child Labour Simulation (Teacher Notes)

Road Transport and the Industrial Revolution (Answer Commentary)

Richard Arkwright and the Factory System (Answer Commentary)

Robert Owen and New Lanark (Answer Commentary)

James Watt and Steam Power (Answer Commentary)

The Domestic System (Answer Commentary)

The Luddites: 1775-1825 (Answer Commentary)

The Plight of the Handloom Weavers (Answer Commentary)

(1) Maurice W. Kirby, George Stephenson : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(2) George M. Trevelyan, English Social History (1942) page 492

(3) Maurice W. Kirby, George Stephenson : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(4) Samuel Smiles, Life of George Stephenson (1875) page 124

(5) Roger Osborne, Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution (2013) page 275

(6) Gavin Weightman, The Industrial Revolutionaries (2007) pages 121-122

(7) Samuel Smiles, Life of George Stephenson (1875) page 166

(8) Maurice W. Kirby, George Stephenson : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(9) Roger Osborne, Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution (2013) pages 275-276

(10) Maurice W. Kirby, George Stephenson : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(11) Samuel Smiles, Life of George Stephenson (1875) page 124

(12) Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, The Industrial Revolution 1760-1830 (1948) page 71

(13) George Stephenson, letter to Edward Pease (28th April, 1821)

(14) Maurice W. Kirby, George Stephenson : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(15) Gavin Weightman, The Industrial Revolutionaries (2007) page 127

(16) Durham County Advertiser (1st October, 1825)

(17) The Sunday Observer (25th April, 1830)

(18) Roger Osborne, Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution (2013) pages 275-276

(19) Samuel Smiles, Life of George Stephenson (1875) page 318

(20) Frances Ann Kemble, Record of a Childhood (1878) page 299

(21) The Sunday Observer (19th September 1830)

(22) Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, The Industrial Revolution 1760-1830 (1948) page 71

(23) Roger Osborne, Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution (2013) page 289

(24) Maurice W. Kirby, George Stephenson : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

George Stephenson biography

George Stephenson was born on June 9, 1781, in Wylam, near Newcastle-on-Tyne. His father Robert worked in the Wylam Colliery as a fireman, and the family's cottage was right beside the Wylam Wagonway. This wooden track took wagons from the colliery to the Tyne river for transport.

George was fascinated by machines from an early age. He took evening classes in reading and writing, even after he joined his father as a colliery worker. In 1802 Stephenson became an engineman, and soon after he married Frances Henderson. Together they had one child, Robert, but Frances suffered from consumption and died in 1806. Stephenson later married twice more.

Stephenson moved to Killingworth Colliery as an engineman, but his fascination with machines continued, and in his spare time he took apart the colliery engines to discover how they worked. So swiftly did he learn that he was appointed an engine wright for the colliery in 1812.

Stephenson developed a new safety lamp that would not explode when used near the highly flammable gasses found in the mines.

He also convinced the mine manager to experiment with steam locomotion. By 1814 he developed the Blucher, which was capable of pulling 30 tons up a grade at four miles per hour. His design was the first to successfully use flanged wheels running on rails.

Over the next several years Stephenson built a further 16 engines at Killingworth. The mine owners were so impressed with his accomplishments that they put him to work building an 8-mile railway from Hetton to Sunderland.

Stephenson was hired by the Stockton and Darlington railway to help build the line linking collieries at West Durham and Darlington with the River Tees. With his son Robert Stephenson, he formed Robert Stephenson & Company, the first locomotive building company in the world, headquartered in Newcastle. The first locomotive engine produced by the new company, called Locomotion, was finished in the fall of 1825.

The Stockton & Darlington line was officially opened on September 27, 1825. To rapt attention from crowds of onlookers, Stephenson guided the Locomotion along the 9-mile track in just under two hours.

Stephenson was hired by other railways, such as the Bolton & Leigh. But his big triumph came in 1829. The proposed Liverpool & Manchester railway directors held a trial to determine which locomotive to use for their railway. The winner also received the huge sum of £500.

The contest was held at Rainhill, and of ten engines entered, only five turned up and just three functioned well enough to take part in the Rainhill Trials. The winner was Rocket, produced by the Stephensons.

Stephenson went from strength to strength. He was chief engineer for the Manchester & Leeds, Birmingham & Derby, Normanton & York and Sheffield & Rotherham railways. He was constantly innovating, constantly improving his engines and the tracks.

He was so successful that he was able to purchase Tapton House, near Chesterfield, in 1838. He invested in coal mines, ironworks, and quarries, and also experimented with animal husbandry and stock breeding.

George Stephenson died at Tapton House on August 12, 1848.

To visit:
National Railway Museum, York. Tells the story of railways in Britain from the Rocket to the present day.
George Stephenson's Birthplace, Wylmam, Northumberland

George Stephenson - History

George Stephenson was born in Wylam , Northumberland , 9.3 miles (15.0 km) west of Newcastle upon Tyne . George Stephenson đã được sinh ra trong Wylam , Northumberland, 9,3 dặm (15,0 km ) về phía tây Newcastle upon Tyne. He was the second child of Robert and Mabel, neither of whom could read or write. Ông là đứa con thứ hai của Robert và Mabel, [1] không ai có thể đọc hoặc viết. Robert was the fireman for Wylam Colliery pumping engine, earning a very low wage, so that there was no money for schooling. Robert là lính cứu hỏa cho động cơ bơm than Wylam, kiếm được một mức lương rất thấp, do đó không có tiền cho việc học. At 17, Stephenson became an engineman at Water Row Pit, Newburn . Năm 17 tuổi, Stephenson đã trở thành một engineman tại Pit Row nước , Newburn. George realised the value of education and paid to study at night school to learn reading, writing and arithmetic—he was illiterate till the age of 18. George nhận ra giá trị của giáo dục và trả tiền để học tại trường học ban đêm để học đọc, viết và số học, ông bị mù chữ cho đến khi 18 tuổi. In 1801 he began work at Black Callerton colliery as a 'brakesman', controlling the winding gear of the pit. Năm 1801, ông bắt đầu làm việc tại Callerton than đen như là một "người sưa thắng, kiểm soát các thiết bị quanh co của hố. In 1802 he married Frances (Fanny) Henderson and moved to Willington Quay, east of Newcastle. Năm 1802, ông kết hôn với Frances (Fanny) Henderson và chuyển đến Willington Quay, phía đông của Newcastle. There he worked as a brakesman while they lived in one room of a cottage. Hiện ông làm việc như một người sưa thắng trong khi họ sống trong một căn phòng của một tiểu. George made shoes and mended clocks to supplement his income. George làm giày dép và đồng hồ vá để bổ sung thu nhập của mình.

In 1803 their son Robert was born, and in 1804 they moved to West Moor , near Killingworth while George worked as a brakesman at Killingworth pit. Năm 1803, con trai của Robert đã được sinh ra, và năm 1804, họ chuyển đến West Moor , gần Killingworth trong khi George đã làm việc như là một người sưa thắng Killingworth hố. His wife gave birth to a daughter, who died after a few weeks, and in 1806 Fanny died of consumption (tuberculosis). Vợ của ông đã sinh ra một đứa con gái, người đã chết sau một vài tuần, và năm 1806 Fanny chết vì tiêu thụ (bệnh lao). George then decided to find work in Scotland, and he left Robert with a local woman while he went to work in Montrose . George sau đó quyết định tìm việc làm ở Scotland, và ông Robert với một phụ nữ địa phương trong khi ông đi làm việc ở Montrose . After a few months he returned, probably because his father was blinded in a mining accident. Sau một vài tháng, ông trở về, có lẽ bởi vì cha của ông bị mù trong một tai nạn khai thác mỏ. George moved back into his cottage at West Moor and his unmarried sister Eleanor moved in to look after Robert. George di chuyển trở lại vào tiểu của mình ở West Moor và chị gái chưa lập gia đình Eleanor di chuyển trong để xem xét sau khi Robert. In 1811 the pumping engine at High Pit, Killingworth was not working properly and Stephenson offered to fix it. Năm 1811 động cơ bơm tại Pit cao, Killingworth đã không làm việc đúng cách và Stephenson đã đưa ra để sửa chữa nó. He did so with such success that he was soon promoted to enginewright for the neighbouring collieries at Killingworth, responsible for maintaining and repairing all of the colliery engines. Ông đã làm như vậy với những thành công đó rằng ông đã sớm thăng enginewright collieries láng giềng tại Killingworth, chịu trách nhiệm duy trì và sửa chữa tất cả các công cụ thác than. He soon became an expert in steam-driven machinery. Ông đã sớm trở thành một chuyên gia về máy móc hơi nước điều khiển.

Cornishman Richard Trevithick is credited with the first realistic design of the steam locomotive in 1804. Cornishman Richard Trevithick được cho là có thiết kế thực tế đầu tiên của đầu máy hơi nước năm 1804 . Later, he visited Tyneside and built an engine there for a mine-owner. Sau đó, ông đến thăm Tyneside và xây dựng một động cơ cho một chủ sở hữu mỏ. Several local men were inspired by this, and designed engines of their own. Một số người đàn ông địa phương đã lấy cảm hứng từ này, và được thiết kế động cơ của riêng mình.

Stephenson designed his first locomotive in 1814, a travelling engine designed for hauling coal on the Killingworth wagonway, and named Blücher after the Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher . Stephenson đã thiết kế đầu máy đầu tiên của mình vào năm 1814, một động cơ đi du lịch được thiết kế để vận chuyển than trên wagonway Killingworth , và đặt tên Blücher sau khi Leberecht Phổ chung Gebhard von Blücher. It was constructed in the colliery workshop behind Stephenson's home, Dial Cottage, on Great Lime Road. Nó được xây dựng trong hội thảo than phía sau Cottage nhà, quay số Stephenson, trên đường Lime Đại. This locomotive could haul 30 tons of coal up a hill at 4 mph (6.4 km/h), and was the first successful flanged-wheel adhesion locomotive: its traction depended only on the contact between its flanged wheels and the rail. Đầu máy này có thể chuyên chở 30 tấn than lên một ngọn đồi tại 4 mph (6,4 km / h), và là thành công đầu tiên bích-bánh xe bám dính đầu máy kéo của nó chỉ phụ thuộc vào các liên lạc giữa các bánh xe có gờ và đường sắt. Altogether, Stephenson is said to have produced 16 locomotives at Killingworth, although it has never proved possible to produce a convincing list of all 16. Tổng cộng, Stephenson cho biết đã sản xuất 16 đầu máy xe lửa tại Killingworth, mặc dù nó chưa bao giờ chứng tỏ có thể tạo ra một danh sách có sức thuyết phục tất cả 16. Of those that have been identified most were built for use at Killingworth itself or for the Hetton collier railway . Trong số những người đã được xác định hầu hết đã được xây dựng để sử dụng tại Killingworth bản thân hoặc cho Hetton than đường sắt . A six-wheeled locomotive was built for the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway in 1817 but it was soon withdrawn from service because of damage to the cast iron rails. A further locomotive was supplied to Scott's Pit railroad at Llansamlet , near Swansea in 1819 but it too was soon withdrawn, apparently because it was under-boilered and also because of damage to the track. Một đầu máy sáu-có bánh xe được xây dựng cho các Kilmarnock và Troon đường sắt năm 1817 nhưng nó đã nhanh chóng thu hồi từ dịch vụ vì thiệt hại cho các đường ray sắt đúc ] Một đầu máy tiếp tục được cung cấp đường sắt Pit của Scott tại Llansamlet, gần Swansea vào năm 1819 nhưng nó cũng đã sớm thu hồi, rõ ràng bởi vì nó là dưới boilered và cũng bởi vì các thiệt hại để theo dõi.

The new engines were too heavy to be run on wooden rails, and iron rails were in their infancy, with cast iron exhibiting excessive brittleness. Các động cơ mới là quá nặng để được chạy trên đường ray bằng gỗ, và đường ray sắt trong giai đoạn trứng của họ, với gang trưng bày dòn quá mức . Together with William Losh , Stephenson improved the design of cast iron rails to reduce breakage. Cùng với William Losh , Stephenson đã cải thiện thiết kế của đường ray gang để giảm vỡ. According to Rolt, he also managed to solve the problem caused by the weight of the engine upon these primitive rails. Theo Rolt, ông cũng quản lý để giải quyết các vấn đề gây ra bởi trọng lượng của động cơ trên những đường ray nguyên thủy. He experimented with a 'steam spring' (to 'cushion' the weight using steam pressure), but soon followed the new practice of 'distributing' weight by utilising a number of wheels. Ông đã thử nghiệm với một mùa xuân hơi '(' đệm 'trọng lượng bằng cách sử dụng áp suất hơi), nhưng ngay sau đó thực hành mới của' phân phối trọng lượng bằng cách sử dụng một số bánh xe. For the Stockton and Darlington Railway , however, Stephenson would use only wrought iron rails, notwithstanding the financial loss he would suffer from not using his own, patented design (see below). [ 6 ] Đối với đường sắt Stockton và Darlington , tuy nhiên, Stephenson sẽ chỉ sử dụng đường ray sắt rèn, mặc dù sự mất mát tài chính, ông sẽ bị không sử dụng, sở hữu thiết kế được cấp bằng sáng chế của mình (xem dưới đây ). [ 6]

Stephenson was hired to build an 8-mile (13-km) railway from Hetton colliery to Sunderland in 1820. Stephenson đã được thuê để xây dựng 8 dặm (13 km) đường sắt từ Hetton than Sunderland vào năm 1820. The finished result used a combination of gravity on downward inclines and locomotives for level and upward stretches. Các kết quả hoàn thành sử dụng một sự kết hợp của lực hấp dẫn có chiều hướng đi xuống và đầu máy xe lửa với trình độ và kéo dài trở lên. It was the first railway using no animal power. Đó là tuyến đường sắt đầu tiên sử dụng không có quyền động vật.

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George Robert Stephenson

He died at his house in Cheltenham on 26 October 1905.

He married Jane Brown in 1846 and had six kids. After Jane died in 1884 he quickly remarried to Sarah Harrison who died in 1893.

He is maybe most well-known for his shut relationship with the Institution of Civil Engineers. He turned a member in 1853 and was elected to the council in 1859. The enlargement of the Institution’s premises in 1868 was made potential by his donation of land to the rear of his places of work at 24 Great George Street. [2] He served as president of the Institution between December 1875 and December 1877. [2]

In the 1860s, Stephenson travelled to New Zealand to oversee the survey and preparations for the development of a railway from Christchurch, via Mount Pleasant to Lyttelton Harbour. The Lyttelton rail tunnel remains to be in use immediately because the nation’s oldest operational rail tunnel. Stephenson loved a protracted affiliation with the nation, for which he designed a number of different works within the mid-nineteenth century.

Stephenson was born to Robert Stephenson Senior (brother of the famed George Stephenson) in Newcastle upon Tyne. In a household of civil engineers, his father was engineer of Pendleton Colliery and Nantlle Railway, whereas his uncle George Stephenson and cousin Robert Stephenson had been prolific railway engineers. He was educated at King William’s College, Isle of Man. It was with Robert that he collaborated most, working collectively on the South Eastern Railway. Upon Robert’s dying in 1859 he took over his locomotive works and a number of other collieries. [1]

George Robert Stephenson (20 October 1819 – 26 October 1905) was a British civil engineer.

2 thoughts on &ldquo Stephenson, George &rdquo

my father capt Oakley kellers 3rd command with buckeye steamship co. caught in a storm on lake superior probably 1940 . she had a sharp bow and a wave smashed into her knocking the pilot house back several inches and tearing the companionway off with pieces found on the aft end. her whole forwd end was submerged and she shuddered and rose. his first command the steamer triston was sent to the atlantic for war duty and sunk by a german submarine in the keys. a totol of five commands with buckeye steamship co.

I sailed on her as a deckhand in 1946. I would like to get a picture of her.

The life of George Stephenson

This is excellent. Easy to read information suitable for Year 2. I will be using it for reading and ordering facts in chronological order. Thank you for sharing as it saved me so much time.

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Great resource for use with Year 2. I printed it and also used it as a non-fiction booklet for the children to use in order to find facts.<br /> Thank you!

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George Stephenson Wiki, Biography, Net Worth, Age, Family, Facts and More

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Famous for constructing the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which was the first public, steam-operated, urban rail system in history, this British engineer is also remembered for his development of the world’s standard 4’8.5″ railway track gauge. George Stephenson is a well known Engineer. George was born on June 9, 1781 in England..George is one of the famous and trending celeb who is popular for being a Engineer. As of 2018 George Stephenson is years old. George Stephenson is a member of famous Engineer list.

Wikifamouspeople has ranked George Stephenson as of the popular celebs list. George Stephenson is also listed along with people born on June 9, 1781. One of the precious celeb listed in Engineer list.

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Name George Stephenson
Age (as of 2018)
Profession Engineer
Birth Date June 9, 1781
Birth Place England
Nationality England

George Stephenson Net Worth

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Estimated Net Worth in 2019: $100K-$1M (Approx.)

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  • George Stephenson age is . as of 2018
  • George birthday is on June 9, 1781.
  • Zodiac sign: Gemini.

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For More Information


Nock, O. S. Father of Railways: The Story of George Stephenson. Edinburgh, Scotland: T. Nelson, 1958.

Rolt, L. T. C. The Railway Revolution: George and Robert Stephenson. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1962.

Smiles, Samuel. The Life of George Stephenson, Railway Engineer. Ann Arbor, MI: Plutarch Press, 1971.


Lynn, Jack. "Secrets of Seven Self-made Millionaires." Washingtonian, February 1981, p. 100.

Web Sites

"George Stephenson, a Biography of the English Inventor and Railroad Pioneer." Britain Express.http://www.britainexpress.com/History/bio/stephenson.htm (accessed on February 17, 2003).

"Some Historical Background to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway." Resco Railways Ltd.http://www.resco.co.uk/iron.html (accessed on February 17, 2003).

Williams, Frederick S. "Our Iron Roads." Resco Railways Ltd.http://www.resco.co.uk/stevensons.html (accessed on February 17, 2003).

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Key Facts & Information


  • George Stephenson was born on June 9, 1781, at Wylam, Northumberland, England. He was the second child of Robert Stephenson and Mabel Stephenson, who were both illiterate. His father earned a meager wage as a fireman in a local coal mine with no money left for schooling.
  • He grew up in a small cottage next to Wylam Wagonway.
  • When he was 8, he tried to help his parents by doing farm work like cow herding and driving horses to carry the coal carriages.
  • He also worked as an assistant to his father in the mine when he was 14.
  • George knew the value of education. When he became an engineman at Water Row Pit in Newbury at 17 years old, he paid to study at night. After a year, he knew how to read, write, and do arithmetic.
  • He got married at age 19 to Frances Henderson after pursuing two ladies who declined him because of his low status as a miner.
  • They had two children, a son, Robert, and a daughter named Frances. They moved to Dial Cottage at West Moor so he could work as a brakesman in the Killingworth Pit. His daughter died three weeks after she was born. His wife followed a year later due to tuberculosis
  • He temporarily left his son to a local woman and worked in Montrose, Switzerland. He returned after a mining accident made his father blind. His unmarried sister moved in with him and his son to look after Robert while he was working in Killingworth’s mine.
  • He supported Robert’s education, even if it meant taking other jobs after his work in the mine. Robert shared his fascination with engines, and it created a special bond between them.
  • In 1811, he successfully repaired and improved a pumping engine at High Pit, Killingworth. It impressed the owners who promoted him as the colliery’s engine wright. His main job was to maintain and repair colliery engines, making him a local expert on engines.


  • Stephenson was aware of the dangers miners faced when they used naked flames while working in the mines. He invented safety lamps for them in 1813 that would burn in a gaseous atmosphere and not cause an explosion.
  • In 1814, he built “Blucher,” his first locomotive. It could haul eight wagons with 30 tons of coal at 4 mph. He later improved it to give a greater pulling power, becoming the first successful flanged-wheel adhesion locomotive.
  • There were also other locomotive creations in his time, but his “Blucher” was unique as the steam engine directly applied the power to the locomotive flanged wheels.
  • For the next five years, Stephenson built sixteen engines mostly for the Killingworth mines, a few for the Duke of Portland’s wagonway.
  • His employer was so impressed with his work that in 1819 he asked him to build an 8-mile long railroad from Hetton town to the River Wear.
  • Stephenson proposed to combine locomotives and stationary engines. It became the first entirely machine-powered railway.
  • Working on this project made Stephenson realize that he could build railways. In 1821, Stephenson arranged a meeting with Stockton and Darlington, the company that was authorized by the British Parliament to build a railway and connect the coal mines in West Durham and Darlington. He told them that his “Blucher” locomotive could replace fifty horses.
  • Stephenson got the project. With his son Robert, they created Robert Stephenson and Company, which produced the railway and locomotives they would use for the project.
  • Stephenson operated his new engine, Locomotion, that could travel along the nine-mile railroad in less than two hours on September 27, 1825.


  • Railways started to replaced canals as the primary way of transporting heavy loads. It meant that the company George and Robert built would be hired to construct other railways, including the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which linked England’s most important manufacturing centers.
  • In 1828, the railway directors conducted a contest to look for locomotives that could be used on the line. They offered a contract for building the locomotive and a substantial cash prize.
  • The locomotives entered in the contest were required to run up and down the track at Rainhill at 10 miles an hour while hauling a load thrice the locomotive’s weight. The distance is equivalent to a round trip between Liverpool and Manchester.
  • Robert and George’s entry, Rocket, got the prize and confirmed their reputation as the country’s leading locomotive manufacturer.
  • In 1830, Stephenson was credited for building the skew bridge in Rainhill over the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was the first to cross any railway at an angle and is still in use at Rainhill Station.


  • The Stephensons helped Britain become a leader in railways’ development, which also served as the stimulus for the Industrial Revolution.
  • George Stephenson used the same gauge to become the standard gauge used worldwide, naming it as Stephenson Gauge.
  • A BBC television show listed Stephenson in the 100 Greatest Britons placing him at no. 65 after a UK-wide vote.
  • A Series E five-pound note issued by the Bank of England between 1990 – 2003 featured George Stephenson.
  • A museum was named after George and Robert calling it The Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields.


  • Stephenson’s success allowed him to buy the Tapton House, a mansion vastly different from the modest cottage he was born and grew up in.
  • A wealthier George Stephenson married Betty Hindmarsh at Newburn. They had no children and Hindmarsh died on August 3, 1845.
  • In 1848, George got married for the third time to his housekeeper Ellen Gregory, a farmer’s daughter from Bakewell, Derbyshire. However, after seven months of being married, he died on August 12, 1848, due to pleurisy. He was buried next to his second wife at Holy Trinity Church, Chesterfield.

George Stephenson Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the George Stephenson across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use George Stephenson worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about George Stephenson who was known as the Father of the Railway. A self-taught English civil engineer and mechanical engineer who pioneered rail transport, one of the most significant technological inventions in the 19th century. They served as the stimulus in Britain’s industrial revolution.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • George Stephenson Facts
  • Stephenson’s Life
  • The Engineer’s Creations
  • Recognizing Stephenson
  • Timeline Of His Inventions
  • Life in Details
  • The Stephenson Interview
  • Stephenson: Fact or Bluff
  • Biography of a Hero
  • Analysis of the Past
  • Improving Transportation

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Further Reading

George Stephenson, about whom literary battles raged over his alleged and disputed inventions for decades after his death, has occasioned several biographies. Samuel Smiles, The Life of George Stephenson (1857 new ed. 1864), is a classic. A definitive biography of his son is J. C. Jeaffreson, The Life of Robert Stephenson (1864 2d ed. 1866). L. T. C. Rolt, The Railway Revoultion: George and Robert Stephenson (1962), shows great insight, and Michael Robbins, George and Robert Stephenson (1966), is a short, well-written account.

Watch the video: George Stephenson - Bergen 2018 (January 2022).