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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.