Robert Stephenson and Company

Robert Stephenson And Company

Robert Stephenson and Company

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Robert Stephenson and Company was a locomotive manufacturing company founded in 1823. It was the first company set up specifically to build railway engines.

Foundation and early success

The company was set up in 1823 in Forth Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England by George Stephenson, his son Robert, with Edward Pease and Michael Longridge (the owner of the ironworks at Bedlington). It was founded as part of their construction of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The manager of the works for a while was James Kennedy, who was later, like the Stephensons, President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers

Its first engine was Locomotion No 1, which opened the line, followed by three more named Hope, Black Diamond and Diligence. The vertical cylinders meant that these locos rocked excessively and at the Hetton colliery railway Stephenson had introduced "steam springs" which had proved unsatisfactory. In 1828 he introduced the "Experiment" with inclined cylinders, which improved stability, and meant that it could be mounted on springs. Originally four wheeled, it was modified for six and another, Victory was built. Around this time, two locomotives were built for America. The first, a four coupled loco named America, was ordered by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. The second, six-coupled and named Whistler was built for the Boston and Providence Rail Road in 1833, later renamed Massachusetts was lost in a bog in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

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