'The New Steam Carriage', 1827.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Aquatint engraving by Henry Pyall (1795-1833) after an original drawing by G Morton, showing ladies and gentlemen aboard Gurney's steam carriage pulling up outside an inn en route to Bath from London. Influenced by meeting Richard Trevithick, the pioneer of steam propulsion, Cornishman Sir Goldsworthy Gurney (1793-1875) built a steam-powered road vehicle himself in 1823. In 1829, he successfully travelled from Bath to London and back at a sustained speed of 15 mph in a steam carriage. His plans for a regular passenger service using steam-driven road vehicles came to nothing however, as the powerful operators of horse-drawn passenger transport joined forces to ensure that Gurney, and others, were forced out of business.