Stephenson’s Rocket - Early steam locomotive
Built in 1829 by George Stephenson and his son Robert, the iconic Stephenson’s Rocket set the standard for steam engines for the next 150 years.
The Rocket is best known for its victory at the Rainhill Trials, held by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. During the 20-lap trial, Stephenson’s Rocket reached speeds of up to 24mph to win the competition, making the engine the ideal locomotive for the railway.
The Rocket was the first locomotive to feature a multi-tube boiler, using 25 copper tubes to increase draught to the fire. By concentrating exhaust steam at the base of the chimney and generating more steam, this made it the fastest engine of its day.
Born out of the Industrial Revolution, this marvellous machine was built at a time of rapid development in steam engine technology, and was based on the Stephensons’ earlier designs, such as Locomotion No. 1 and Lancashire Witch.