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Inventor Spotlight: George Stephenson

Oct 10, 2018 12:00 AM

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ? Isaac Asimov

There is an excellent level of accomplishment and more so a great deal of power that comes from a person who thirsts to learn and become more in life. The story of George Stephenson is precisely that. A man who, without any formal education, would lead the world into a more prosperous and connected world.

Now, this may sound like a hyperbolic statement but as you continue to read on you will discover what this man had contributed to his era which would later be the catalyst for a much more beneficial time to come.

This is a brief spotlight story of George Stephenson.


Who Was George Stephenson (A Brief History Of The Inventor)?

George Stephenson was an English engineer and the principal inventor of the railroad locomotive. George began his career, like many boys at that time, at work and not in school.

He wouldn’t start his formal education of learning how to read and to write until he was 19 years old. After receiving his formal education, he would get married. To support his himself and his wife he started to learn how to repair shoes and clothes, as well as to fix clocks.

He and his wife would have two children, a boy named Robert and a girl whose name was never documented. Sadly, his daughter would die before her first birthday and his wife would soon follow after.

The Miner’s Safety Lamp

George would start to gain renown with some of the inventions he created. Particularly the miners’ safety lamp which would catch the eyes of many people who worked in the mining industry.

He had heard a great deal about explosions that would occur due to naked flames that candle holders allowed. So, to combat these explosions that miners faced, he started to experiment on his now-famous safety lamp.

The lamp would be able to burn in gaseous atmospheres and do so without causing an explosion. This of course was extremely revolutionary as it prevented and saved many miners’ lives as a result.

The Rocket

Ever the inventor, he grew to have a great fondness for the locomotive engines that were very popular at that time; he would build several locomotive engines (16 to which he claims but there is no definitive proof that he ever did so).

He gained a considerable reputation for many of his locomotive engines. However, where he really gained fame and would be later dubbed as the ‘Father of the Rail’ would be with his steam engine called The Rocket.

He, along with his son Robert, built the steam engine which traveled at speeds up to 36 miles (58 km) per hour.

This is significant is because the locomotive train at that time only went as fast as 15 miles (24km) per hour.

His ingenuity and his constant desire to improve has not only cemented his reputation as ’The Father of the Rails’, but it also helped to spark the Industrial Revolution.

If your little one is always inventing or building, they could be the next great inventor! Foster their STEM abilities by enrolling them in some Mad Science Activities! Check out what we offer on our home page!

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