'A Steam Coach with Some of the Machinery Going Wrong', c 1825.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand coloured caricature engraving showing a steam-powered coach exploding, hurling its pasengers in all directions. At this time steam-driven travel still remained an unreliable fad to most people. When Sir Goldsworthy Gurney introduced steam-powered pasenger coaching services in the 1820s, it was very much in the interests of the powerful horse-drawn coach operators to encourage this negative view of steam propulsion. By placing physical obstructions on the roads and persuading the government to impose heavy tolls they drove the steam coach operators out of busines. Published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket, London.