George Stephenson – the early years

George Stephenson – the early years

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Caption: George Stephenson (1781-1848), English mechanical engineer and builder of the famous “Rocket” steam locomotive. He was born in a colliery village in the coalfields of Newcastle, where his father was the fireman of the pumping engine at Dewley colliery. At 14, George Stephenson became assistant fireman to his father, being promoted to engine man at the age of 17 years. He gained a thorough practical knowledge of its construction and principles by dismantling, cleaning and reassembling the machine. At 18 he attended a local night school 3 nights a week to learn to read, and at 19 took lessons in mathematics. In 1814 he became the engine wright at Killingworth Colliery where he built his first steam locomotive.

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Keywords: blucher, coal, coalfield, colliery, engine-wright, engineer, fireman, george stephenson, locomotive, newcastle, pumping engine, reading, rocket, self-help, steam, steam locomotive, stephenson, victorian

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