STEPHENSON, George, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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George Stephenson encourages young mechanics

STEPHENSON, George (1781-1848). Colliery and railway engineer.
Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent, 4 pages 8vo (the last a little soiled), Tapton House, 25 June 1841. Agreeing to lecture to a Mechanics' Institution, and suggesting that the Insitution should be supplied with models to illustrate the mechanical powers and the various steam engines.

'... I think however it will be more clear to the young Mechanics if I get models made of all the mechanical powers to lecture on, the models will continue to be useful to all new members. I think by and Bye you ought to have skeleton models of the condensing Engine, High Pressure Engine, Locomotive Engine & Steam boat Engine. These models ought to be made in sections to show the interior working part of the different Engines. ...'

Stephenson was an enthusiastic supporter of the various Mechanics' Institutes which had grown up in the northern counties. As early as 1824 he had presided at a public meeting for the purpose of establishing an Institute in Newcastle, and he became himself a very popular lecturer. Samuel Smiles (Lives of the Engineers, 1861, vol. 3. page 362) describes the effect:
'On more than one occasion, the author [Smiles] had the pleasure of listening to George Stephenson's homely but forcible addresses at the annual soirées of the Leeds Mechanics' Institute. He was always an immense favourite with his audiences there. His personal appearance was greatly in his favour. A handsome, ruddy, expressive face, lit up by bright dark-blue eyes, prepared one for his earnest words when he stood up to speak and the cheers had subsided which invariably hailed his rising. He was not glib, but he was very impressive. ...'

£1500 [No: 26172]
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