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First fatal automobile accident, 1834

First fatal automobile accident, 1834

V310/0141

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

First fatal automobile accident. Paisley, Scotland, on 29 July 1834. One of the wheels collapsed, rupturing the boiler which exploded, killing 5 people. This is said to be the first fatal automobile accident. Following the accident, further steam stagecoach journeys were banned. The Scottish engineer John Scott Russell (1808-1880) had started the service, between Glasgow and Paisley, in April 1834. The distance was covered in 34 minutes, at speeds of up to 27 kilometres an hour. The stagecoaches carried 26 passengers, but were very popular and were often overcrowded. Based on eyewitness accounts, this artwork was later published in Histoire de la Locomotion Terrestre (Paris, 1936).

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