George Stephenson

related topics
{build, building, house}
{car, race, vehicle}
{son, year, death}
{@card@, make, design}
{work, book, publish}
{ship, engine, design}
{line, north, south}
{theory, work, human}
{law, state, case}
{day, year, event}
{government, party, election}
{island, water, area}
{household, population, family}

George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848) was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer who built the first public railway line in the world to use steam locomotives, and he is renowned as being the "Father of Railways". The Victorians considered him a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement, with self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praising his achievements. His rail gauge of 4 feet 8½ inches (1,435 mm), sometimes called "Stephenson gauge", is the world's standard gauge.

Contents

Early life

George Stephenson was born in Wylam, Northumberland, 9.3 miles (15.0 km) west of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was the second child of Robert and Mabel,[1] neither of whom could read or write. Robert was the fireman for Wylam Colliery pumping engine, earning a low wage, so that there was no money for schooling. At 17, Stephenson became an engineman at Water Row Pit, Newburn. George realised the value of education and paid to study at night school to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. In 1801 he began work at Black Callerton colliery as a 'brakesman', controlling the winding gear of the pit. In 1802 he married Frances (Fanny) Henderson and moved to Willington Quay, east of Newcastle. There he worked as a brakesman while they lived in one room of a cottage. George made shoes and mended clocks to supplement his income. In 1803 their son Robert was born, and in 1804 they moved to West Moor, near Killingworth while George worked as a brakesman at Killingworth pit. His wife gave birth to a daughter, who died after a few weeks, and in 1806 Fanny died of consumption (tuberculosis). George, then decided to find work in Scotland, and he left Robert with a local woman while he went to work in Montrose. After a few months he returned, probably because his father was blinded in a mining accident. George moved back into his cottage at West Moor and his unmarried sister Eleanor moved in to look after Robert. In 1811 the pumping engine at High Pit, Killingworth was not working properly and Stephenson offered to fix it. He did so with such success that he was soon promoted to enginewright for the neighbouring collieries at Killingworth, responsible for maintaining and repairing all of the colliery engines. He soon became an expert in steam-driven machinery.[2]

Full article ▸

related documents
George Pullman
Mount Vernon
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Waterloo & City line
Tay Rail Bridge
Johnstown, Colorado
Louis Sullivan
Monticello
Granite, Oregon
Water tower
Thames and Medway Canal
Chicago Flood
Screven, Georgia
California, Missouri
Trenton, Missouri
Placerville, Idaho
Elkhart, Illinois
Auxvasse, Missouri
Gomersal
Soichiro Honda
Abernathy, Texas
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
Ansted, West Virginia
Nolanville, Texas
Eufaula, Oklahoma
Clovis, California
Douglas, Arizona
Neosho, Missouri
Austin, Minnesota
Paris, Arkansas