Trevithick's model road locomotive engine

1796-1802 in United Kingdom

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Trevithick's original model road locomotive engine, unsigned, British, 1796-1802. This model is possibly constructed by either Richard Trevithick, or Whitehead & Co., of Manchester.

This is a working test model made by Richard Trevithick, constructor of the world's first steam railway locomotive. Trevithick had developed a compact high-pressure steam engine to provide Cornish ore mines with a more fuel efficient pumping engine than the standard Watt type, and soon turned his attention to self-moving engines. The success of this model encouraged Trevithick to manufacture full-sized road and rail locomotives. The first railway locomotive ran in 1803, and Trevithick's third machine, 'Catch Me Who Can', was demonstrated on a circular track near Euston Road, London, in 1808.

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Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Road Transport
Object Number:
asbestos, brass (copper, zinc alloy) and metal (unknown)
overall (from outside case): 380 mm x 270 mm x 180 mm,
steam engine
  • visual and verbal communication
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • engine - power producing equipment
Bennet Woodcroft Bequest

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