The Life of George Stephenson, Railway Engineer

The Life of George Stephenson, Railway Engineer

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A political and social reformer, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was also a noted biographer in the Victorian period, paying particular attention to engineers. His first biography was of George Stephenson (1781-1848), whom he met at the opening of the North Midland Railway in 1840. After Stephenson died, Smiles wrote a memoir of him for Eliza Cook's Journal. With the permission of Stephenson's son, Robert, this evolved into the first full biography of the great engineer, published in 1857 and reissued here in its revised third edition. This detailed and lively account of Stephenson's life, which proved very popular, charts his education and youth, his crucial contribution to the development of Britain's railways, and his relationships with many notables of the Victorian world. It remains of interest to the general reader as well as historians of engineering, transport and business.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1 b/w illus.
  • 113938113X
  • 9781139381130

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Early years; 2. Begins a career of labour; 3. Engineman at Newburn; 4. Brakesman at Black Callerton; 5. Marriage, and housekeeping at Willington Quay; 6. Brakesman at West Moor, Killingworth; 7. Colliery engine-wright at Killingworth; 8. The beginnings of railways and locomotives; 9. George Stephenson's first locomotives; 10. Invents the 'Geordy' safety lamp; 11. Controversy as to the invention of the safety lamp; 12. Further improvements in the locomotive; 13. Education of his son; 14. Railway pioneers; 15. First survey of the Liverpool and Manchester railway; 16. Mr Stephenson appointed engineer of the Stockton and Darlington Railway; 17. Completion and opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway; 18. Mr Stephenson appointed to survey a railway from Liverpool to Manchester; 19. Mr Stephenson examined before the parliamentary committee on the Liverpool and Manchester bill; 20. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway bill carried, and Mr Stephenson appointed engineer; 21. A prize offered for the best locomotive engine; 22. The building of the 'Rocket'; 23. The competition of locomotives at Rainhill; 24. The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway; 25. Extension of the railway system; 26. Advance of public opinion in favour of railways; 27. Mr Stephenson engineer of the Manchester and Leeds, and Midland railways; 28. Surveys of lines to Scotland and Holyhead; 29. Mr Stephenson and the new school of fast engineers; 30. Mr Stephenson's partial retirement from the profession; 31. The railway mania; 32. Mr Stephenson's connection with Mr Hudson; 33. Mr Stephenson's connection with foreign railways; 34. Residence at Tapton; 35. Closing years; 36. His character; Resume of the railway system and its results.
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