Robert Stephenson, English mechanical and structural engineer, 1860.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by F Hall, after George Richmond, 1849. Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), son of George Stephenson, whom he asisted with the survey of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1821. After attending Edinburgh University, he set up and engineering company, Robert Stephenson & Co in 1824. In 1829 he designed the 'Rocket' locomotive which took part in and subsequently won the 'Rainhill' Trials, a competition set up to find the most suitable locomotive for haulage on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. He was also the engineer for the construction of the London & Birmingham Railway. He designed many bridges such as the Royal Border Bridge over the Tweed and the Britannia Bridge.