October 1859 – Robert Stephenson’s obituary

Just week’s after reporting on the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, The Engineer mourned the passing of another giant of British industry: Robert Stephenson.

Son of George Stephenson – who is widely considered the father of the railways – Robert, whose statue can be seen outside London’s Euston station made arguably an equally important contribution to the world of engineering. Indeed,  his iconic “rocket” locomotive is viewed today as one of the key advances in railway technology.

It’s interesting to compare Stephenson’s obituary with that of Brunel. Whilst The Engineer was quick to draw attention to what it viewed as Brunel’s unpleasant personality traits, its tribute to Stephenson throbs with admiration.  ‘The foremost man amongst our engineers has passed away,’ reported the paper, ‘Our great Captain of Industry has departed”.