Goldsworthy Gurney, English inventor, c 1829.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by W Sharp after a drawing by S C Smith. Sir Goldsworthy Gurney (1793-1875) was born near Padstow in Cornwall and originally trained and practiced as a surgeon. Whilst a chemistry lecturer at the Surrey Institute, he invented the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, which in turn led him to discover the capabilities of lime as a powerful light-emitting substance when burned. Limelight was especially useful in lighthouses and for theatre footlights. Inspired by Stephenson's Rocket, Gurney also built a series of steam carriages, one of which in 1829 ran from London to Bath and back at the rate of 15 miles an hour. Published by J Dickinson, 114, New Bond Street, September 1829.