George Stephenson, English railway engineer, c 1825-1835.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Mezzotint by C Turner after a painting by H P Briggs of George Stephenson (1781-1848). A self-educated man, Stephenson commenced his working life as a cowherd, later working in coalpits. His mechanical mind was noticed by his employers & by 1812 he was an engine-wright earning 100 pounds a year. In 1813 he was commisioned to design a steam locomotive for the Killingworth wagonway. He was the engineer for the Stockton & Darlington Railway (opened 1825) and the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (opened 1829). He advised on the construction of the Belgian State Railway (opened 1835) & was involved with the construction of many of the English railways, hence his nickname 'the father of railways'.