Double-acting high-pressure steam engine invented by Richard Trevithick

(128 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

Robert Trevithick was a Cornish mine-owner's son who had an aptitude for engineering. He improved on James Watt's steam-engine design by introducing a high-presssure boiler, considered too explosive by Watt and others, and a double-acting piston to drive the fly-wheel. In 1801 he invented the first road locomotive, the “Puffing Devil”. On 21 February 1804, Trevithick produced the world's first steam engine to run successfully on rails. The locomotive hauled ten tons of iron, seventy passengers and five wagons from the ironworks at Penydarren to the Merthyr-Cardiff Canal in Wales. In 1808 he set up a circular locomotive running on rails around Euston square, as a public amusement. He was responsible for other engineering …

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Editors. "Double-acting high-pressure steam engine invented by Richard Trevithick". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2007
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]