Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Trevithick: London Steam Carriage

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London Steam Carriage.

Note: This is a sub-section of Richard Trevithick

1803 The London Steam Carriage was assembled at Felton's Carriage Works at Leather Lane, London, many of the engine components having been brought from Cornwall where they were made.

The engine may have been tested in another machine called the Tuckingmill locomotive which was reported to have been stuck on the road between Camborne and Redruth 'because its wheels could not get sufficient grip of the road', but for which unfortunately no drawings are known to have survived.

On completion, the London Steam Carriage was driven about ten miles through the streets of London to Paddington and back through Islington with seven or eight guest passengers, the streets having been closed to other vehicles. This was the first trip of a self powered passenger carrying vehicle in the world.

It was particularly uncomfortable for passengers and proved more expensive to run than a conventional horse-drawn carriage and so was abandoned.

During a trip on a subsequent evening, Trevithick and his colleague crashed the carriage into some house railings and as a result of this and lack of sales the vehicle was scrapped, the engine being sent to work in a mill making hoops for beer barrels.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] The Brooklands Society Web Site