'New Principles, or the March of Invention' early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Satirical coloured aquatint showing an exploding steam-driven carriage hurtling its pasengers mid-air, and startling the pasengers of a horse-drawn insurance company carriage. The onlooking drivers remark, 'Blown up by God and not one soul left behind', 'Well they will have their hobbies'. 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.