StephensonÕs "Rocket", 1830.


When the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened on the 15th of September, 1830, among those present was James Nasmyth, subsequently the inventor of the steam hammer. Mr. Nasmyth was a good freehand draughtsman, and he sketched the Rocket as it stood on the line. The sketch is still in existence. Mr. Nasmyth wrote concerning it, July 26th 1884: "This slight and hasty sketch of the Rocket was made the day before the opening of the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, George Stephenson acting as engine driver and his son Robert as stoker, while it remained stationary after some experimental trips. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway did not open for eleven months after the Rainhill trials and a glance at this sketch will show the astonishing transformation that took place during that period, and the conclusion arrived at is that the Rocket of 1829 never worked at all on this line but the engine of 1830 was an entirely new engine.