Letter from W J Curtis to Stockton & Darlington Railway, 29 October 1839

Made:
1839-10-29 in Blackfriars
maker:
W J Curtis
Letter from W J Curtis to Stockton & Darlington Railway, 29 October 1839 (letter) Letter from W J Curtis to Stockton & Darlington Railway, 29 October 1839 (letter)

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

© The Board of Trustees of The Science Museum, London
National Railway Museum, York

© The Board of Trustees of The Science Museum, London
National Railway Museum, York

Autograph letter from Mr W J Curtis to the Secretary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, 29 October 1839.

This is a letter by Mr W. J. Curtis to the Stockton and Darlington Railway, dated 29th October 1839. It comments on the death of a man struck by a locomotive, suggesting that the railway implement a new braking system that had been developed by Curtis himself.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway saw many accidents during its early years of operation. These included boiler explosions, derailments and collisions with other trains as well as those people on the line. Steam traction was also in its infancy, often proved to being unreliable or dangerous.

Though early steam locomotives travelled relatively slowly, many lacked a braking system that could halt the train in an emergency. As this letter demonstrates, many safety systems were either had not invented or were deployed, meaning that railways could often be dangerous at this stage of their development.

Details

Category:
Archive Collections
Object Number:
2017-7051
Materials:
paper (fibre product) and ink
Measurements:
overall: 375 mm x 230 mm
type:
letter