Biographies of George Stephenson, English railway engineer, 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Group of books from a series of 'Industrial Biographies' by Samuel Smiles including 'Life of George Stephenson'. A largely self-educated man, Stephenson's (1781-1848) early working life was spent as a brakesman and in collieries maintaining stationary engines. In 1813 he was commissioned to design his first steam locomotive, 'Blucher', for the Killingworth Colliery in Tyne and Wear. Later, he became the engineer for the Stockton & Darlington Railway (1825), and the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (1829). He advised on the construction of many of the English railways and the Belgian State Railway (1835), hence his nickname 'the father of railways'.