Lives of the Engineers (George and Robert Stephenson) cover

#1 - 00 - Introduction Part 1

Lives of the Engineers (George and Robert Stephenson)

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Download 00 - Introduction Part 1 audio
Download 01 - Introduction Part 2 audio
Download 02 - Chapter 1 Newcastle and the Great Northern Coalfield audio
Download 03 - Chapter 2 George Stephenson's Early Years audio
Download 04 - Chapter 3 Engineman at Killingworth audio
Download 05 - Chapter 4 The Stephensons at Killingworth audio
Download 06 - Chapter 5 Early History of the Locomotive audio
Download 07 - Chapter 6 Invention of the 'Geordie' Safety Lamp audio
Download 08 - Chapter 7 Further Improvements of the Locomotive audio
Download 09 - Chapter 8 - George Stephenson, Engineer of the Stockton and Darlington Railway audio
Download 10 - Chapter 9 - The Liverpool and Manchester Railway Projected audio
Download 11 - Chapter 10 - Chat Moss - Construction of the Railway audio
Download 12 - Chapter 11 - Robert Stephenson in Colombia, The 'Rocket' audio
Download 13 - Chapter 12 - The Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway audio
Download 14 - Chapter 13 - Robert Stephenson Constructs the London and Birmingham Railway audio
Download 15 - Chapter 14 - Manchester and Leeds and Midland Railways audio
Download 16 - Chapter 15 - George Stephenson's Coal Mines audio
Download 17 - Chapter 16 - Robert Stephenson's Career audio
Download 18 - Chapter 17 - Robert Stephenson's Tubular Bridges at Menai and Conway audio
Download 19 - Chapter 18 - George Stephenson's Closing Years - Illness and Death audio
Download 20 - Chapter 19 Robert Stephenson's Illness and Death. Stephenson Characteristics audio

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Summary

George Stephenson did not invent the steam engine, that was due to Newcomen and later to James Watt. He did not invent the steam locomotive, that was due to a number of people including Cugnot, Trevithick and others. He did not invent the Railway. Railways or tramways had been in use for two hundred years before Stephenson.

The reason why Stephenson was known as ‘The father of the steam locomotive’ was that he took a primitive, unreliable and wholly uneconomic device and turning it into an efficient machine not very different to those which ran until fifty or so years ago, married it with the iron rail and alone, and against considerable opposition,began, via the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and then the London and Birmingham Railway, the development of steam railways in England and the world.

George Stephenson began life in 1781 in the worst and poorest of all circumstances, he did not learn to read until he was twenty years old, but he, together with his son Robert, became the foremost engineers in the railway world.

If, in the middle years of the nineteenth century you wanted to build a railway, then, if you wanted it big bold and imaginative you might go to Mr. Brunel. If you wanted it to pay however, you would go to the Sephensons.

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