'Dr Church's London & Birmingham Steam Coach', 1833.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Josiah Allen after John Cooke showing the steam carriage designed and built by Dr Church of Birmingham in 1833. The carriage operated on a daily basis between Birmingham and London, at an average speed of 14 miles per hour. It had an unusual design, with three solid wheels, and could carry 44 pasengers, 22 inside the carriage and 22 outside. Steam-powered coaches operated between various English towns between 1820 and 1840. The increased popularity of the rapidly expanding railway network, as well as opposition from operators of horse-drawn coaches, who physically blocked roads and persuaded the government to impose crippling tolls, was largely responsible for driving the steam coaches out of busines.