Collection contains 23 letters from Robert Stephenson to Samuel Smiles, 1853-1858, along with a 14-page essay on the construction of the Rocket locomotive. The letters give Smiles information for his biography of Robert's father titled 'The Life of George Stephenson' first published in 1857 and details about Robert's own career. The essay and 22 letters are in Robert Stephenson's own hand and letters include his signature. One letter is in a different hand and only signed by Robert.
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