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George Stephenson (1781-1848), Inventor of the railway-engine

Sitter in 9 portraits
Stephenson, the inventor and founder of railways, was a practical engineer without formal education who became interested in developing more efficient rails and locomotives. In 1814, he tested his first 'steam-blast' locomotive which drew thirty tonnes of coal at four miles an hour. After his pioneering work on the Stockton and Darlington Railway (1825), he won the contract for the Manchester and Liverpool Line in 1826. The success of both lines was increased by the newly designed Rocket (1829), an engine which travelled at 29 miles per hour. The building of these two lines prompted immense business speculation and an expansion of the railway system which transformed the British countryside and economy.

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George Stephenson

by Henry William Pickersgill
oil on canvas, circa 1845
On display in Room 19 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 410


George Stephenson

by Joseph Pitts
marble bust, 1846
NPG 261


George Stephenson

by Charles Turner, after Henry Perronet Briggs
mezzotint, published 1838
NPG D20481


George Stephenson

by and published by Charles Turner, after Henry Perronet Briggs
mezzotint, published 7 June 1838
NPG D21133


George Stephenson

by Samuel Bellin, published by John Weale, after Henry Perronet Briggs
mezzotint, published 1839
NPG D4312


George Stephenson

by Thomas Lewis Atkinson, after John Lucas
mixed-method engraving, published 1849
NPG D13734


George Stephenson

by William Lucas, published by John Lucas, after a bust by Christopher Moore
mezzotint, published July 1857
NPG D6862


George Stephenson

by James Robert Granville Exley
print, early 20th century
NPG D6863


George Stephenson

by and published by Alfred Krausse, printed by F.A. Brockhaus
line engraving, 1848 or after
NPG D42126

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