Richard Trevithick, British engineer

Richard Trevithick, British engineer

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), British engineer and father of locomotive power. As a child, Trevithick showed little academic ability. He began working with his father in the mines, where his engineering abilities blossomed. He built his first road steam locomotive in 1801 and went on to construct a locomotive with its own circular railway track (1808). However, over this period Trevithick lost nearly all his funding. He moved to Peru and became involved with Simon Bolivar, the revolutionary. His investments there were also unsuccessful and he was forced to return home, where he died a pauper.

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