Robert Stephenson, British engineer, 1856.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic portrait of Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), taken at the studio of Maull & Polyblank, London, published as one of a series of 'Photographic Portraits of Living Celebrities'. By the mid-1850s, Maull & Polyblank had become renowned for their publications of celebrity portraits. The son of George Stephenson (1781-1848), Robert helped his father to survey the Stockton & Darlington railway line in 1822. They went on to form a firm called Robert Stephenson & Company and built The Rocket, the locomotive that won the Rainhill Trials, and won the contract to produce locomotives for the Liverpool & Manchester railway. Stephenson was involved in the construction of railways and bridges all over the world.