> of England had and still have the greatest craftsman. the north was where
> worlds industrial revolution started. the first steam engine/train ran
> Liverpool to Manchester. Stevenson's Rocket.
Sorry, Frank, I have to correct your steam locomotive history, since I am a
steam geek as well as a TR geek. It si generally recognized that Richard
Trevithick built the first successful steam locomotive, which ran on a
tramway at the ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil in 1804. George Stephenson's
first locomotive was the "Blucher", which he built in 1814. His first
railway was actually the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which opened in
1825. The L&M followed in 1830. The Rocket was built around the same time
and was important because it was the first "modern" locomotive, incoporating
a fire-tube boiler, induced draft furnace using a blast pipe to provide the
draft, and driving cylinders that were at about a 40 degree angle to
horizontal, rather than vertical like all its predecessors. The Rocket was
built for the Rainhill Trials, which was a competiton to select the most
efficient loco for the new L&M railway. The Rocket won and pretty much all
successful locos built thereafter incorporated its features.
George Stephenson became the first President of the Institution of
Mechanical Engineers (of which I am a proud Member), founded in 1847. His
son, Robert, was also president of the same institution. Geo. Stephenson
also defined the standard track gauge as 4ft 8 1/2 inches, which is still
the standard in most parts of the world today.
Don't get me started on Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was the greatest
engineer of the Victorian age, in my opinion...
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