Inventions of English Inventors of the 1800s

By | November 23, 2018

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October 1829: Stephenson's Rocket (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Designed by English railway engineer Robert Stephenson, winner of the prize for the best locomotive in a contest of steam engines at Rainhill, on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

Many of the products and devices that have been used throughout history were created back in the 1800s by English inventors such as the railways and locomotives. These inventors took their work seriously and put their knowledge to good use.

Robert Stephenson, born in 1803, was an English railway and civil engineer, who was called the greatest engineer of the 19th century. He had his father, George Stephenson’s ingenuity of railways. While his father was building the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Robert established the steam locomotive “Rocket” in 1829. In 1833, while Robert was not even 30 years old yet, he signed a contract to build a 112-mile railway from Camden Town to Birmingham. Robert was made Knight of the Order of Leopold in 1941 for his enhancements to locomotive engines. By 1850, he had designed the “High-Level Bridge,” the “Royal Border Bridge,” and the “East Coast Main Line.”  

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First steam locomotive

John Braithwaite was an English engineer, born in London in 1797, who invented the first steam fire engine. Being the third son and named after his father, he became a skilled draughtsman and a master of practical engineering. When his father died in 1818, John and his brother, Francis took over their father’s business. Just five years later, his brother Francis died and he alone worked the business. John began incorporating into the business the making of high-pressure steam engines. By 1827, he met Captain John Ericsson, who he connected with and they constructed the locomotive engine which they called “The Novelty.” It was the first engine to ever run a mile within a minute. The first steam fire-engine that Braithwaite manufactured was destroyed by a mob in London. Before it was destroyed, though, it was successful in subsiding fires at the English Opera House and some others. Because it was so successful in its operation, there was so much jealousy by the fire brigade that Braithwaite had to give it up. But it wasn’t long before he constructed four more of larger dimensions.