Oil painting depicting Robert Stephenson


Painting, oil on canvas, portrait of Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), Mechanical and Civil Engineer, 1850s, painting shows the Britannia Bridge in the background. Unknown artist, after or by John Lucas . Framed and glazed.

Robert Stephenson (1803–1859) was a railway and civil engineer born on 16 October 1803 at Willington Quay, near Newcastle upon Tyne, the only son of George Stephenson (1781–1848), colliery and railway engineer.

He was educated at Bruce's academy at Newcastle upon Tyne. On leaving school in 1819 Stephenson was apprenticed to Nicholas Wood, viewer of Killingworth colliery. In 1821 he assisted his father in the survey of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and then in 1822 spent six months studying natural philosophy, chemistry, and natural history at Edinburgh University. On leaving Edinburgh, Stephenson settled in Newcastle upon Tyne to manage Robert Stephenson & Co at Forth Banks Works, the locomotive building establishment which his father had founded there in 1823.

The locomotive ‘Rocket’ was built under his direction and went on to win the Rainhill locomotive trials, held in October 1829, to determine the best means of propulsion on the Liverpool and Manchester line. He was responsible for surveying the line of the proposed London and Birmingham Railway and was appointed Chief Engineer.

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Pictorial Collection (Railway)
Object Number:
canvas and oil paint
overall; frame: 1170 mm x 968 mm x 100 mm,
overall; image: 907 mm x 704 mm
GEC Alsthom Traction Limited

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