'Hayle-St Ives in the distance', Cornwall, 1860.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Steel engraving drawn by R T Pentreath showing a view of the industrial town of Hayle in Cornwall. During the Industrial Revolution Hayle was a prosperous town whose main industries were centred on the production of tin, copper smelting, and the manufacture and export of ships. The steam pioneer Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) was a resident of the town and was the first to use high-presure steam to drive an engine. It was at Harveys Foundry in Hayle that Trevithick, set about making a cylindrical boiler which could withstand steam at higher presures. This new engine was well suited to driving vehicles. In 1804 Trevithick was responsible for the first succesful railway locomotive. He also designed steam road carriages and a large number of stationary steam engines.