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Stephenson's Rocket

In 1829, Robert Stephenson designed and produced an innovative steam locomotive which is now commonly referred to as Stephenson’s Rocket. At the time, stationary steam engines were often used but Stephenson’s Rocket changed the landscape from thereon forward.

In 1829 it was made specifically to prove that locomotives were more useful than stationary steam engines. To that end it won the Rainhill Trials in October the same year. Stephenson’s Rocket set itself ahead of other locomotives by incorporating several revolutionary changes.

His changes sparked the revolutionary designs in locomotives and was a template for 150 years to come. Credit is often given to his father George Stephenson for several designs preceding Rocket, and Henry Booth for suggesting the use of a multi-tube boiler, as well.


DESIGNER: Robert Stephenson and Company 
TYPE: Steam Locomotive

​Stephenson's Rocket by Science Museum Group on Collection
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