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Richard Trevithick
13 April 1771 - 22 April 1833

Who was Richard Trevithick?

Richard Trevithick was a British inventor. Born in Illogan, Cornwall, he was the son of a mine engineer. As a child would watch steam engines pump water out of the deep tin and copper mines which were common in Cornwall.

Why is Richard Trevithick famous?

Trevithick is famous for being a steam engineer and pioneer of the railways

image: steam locomotive
Trevithick's locomotive "Penydarren" 1804

In 1801, he built the "road locomotive", which became known as the "Puffing Devil". It was one of the world's first road vehicles to move under its own power and carry passengers.

image: Puffing

In 1803 he built another early self propelled road vehicle, the "London Steam Carriage" - a stagecoach fitted with a steam engine.

image: London Steam Carriage

In 1804 he built the first steam engine tramway locomotive - Penydarren Locomotive - a steam-powered vehicle to replace the horse-drawn carts on the tramways. On 22 February the world's first locomotive hauled 10 tons of iron, 70 men and five wagons a total 9 miles in only 2 short hours.

Later, other engineers (including George Stephenson) developed Trevithick's idea.

George Stephenson

George Stephenson is credited to have built the first true railway locomotive which was first used on the Killingworth Colliery Railway on the 27 July 1814.

image: locomotive

Also on this day ...

13 April 1953: British publishing house Jonathan Cape publishes Ian Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale, introducing the world to literature's most famous spy: James Bond, 007.


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