George Stephenson, English railway engineer, 1830-36.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Watercolour portrait on ivory by Mrs Mary F Hamilton, showing Stephenson holding an aquatint of the Sankey Valley Viaduct, which he designed for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. 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 commisioned 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'. Dimensions (+ frame): 170mm x 145mm.