Language and History English two-minute tales, music and mental agility puzzles
Timothy Hackworth : Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) turned steam locomotives into a reliable commercial success.
Timothy Hackworth

Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) turned steam locomotives from a brilliant concept into a reliable commercial success. He is the man we have to thank for bringing mobility, jobs, and better lives to countless millions of people worldwide.

TIMOTHY Hackworth was locomotive superintendent on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world’s first public railway using steam locomotives, from its opening in 1825. His task was to keep the line’s primitive steam locomotives running and earning revenue.

Often overshadowed by his larger-than-life employer, George Stephenson, Hackworth was the man who made railways reliable.

As the industrial world looked on, his ‘Royal George’ and a succession of no-nonsense 0-6-0s established railways as commercially viable, and laid down principles of locomotive engineering that would last until the end of the steam age.*

In 1840, he founded the Soho Engine Works at Shildon, where his Christian principles - he was a Methodist preacher with a fondness for humorous anecdotes - inspired him to build a model village for himself and his employees.

Hackworth’s work had never been about personal glory, only shared achievement. That is why he is often forgotten — and why he should be remembered.

* An 0-6-0 locomotive has no small wheels at the front, six large driving wheels in the middle, and no trailing wheels at the back.

‘Puffing Billy’

‘Puffing Billy’ was built by Timothy Hackworth and William Hedley in 1813, and is the oldest surviving steam locomotive in the world. It is on static display in London, but Beamish Museum in County Durham has a working replica of it, which you can see in the video below.

More like this

Discovery and Invention (64) Georgian Era (106) County Durham (12) Railways (22) History (393)

Picture: © Peter Smith, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
Timothy Hackworth’s house in New Shildon, County Durham, the model village he built for himself and his employees to share.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles Games with Words

Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
In the time of King George III, Parliament forgot that its job was not to regulate the people, but to represent them.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
Adam and Eve are set in a Garden of carefree delight, but the Snake swears they are victims of a cruel deception.
A young Peter the Great of Russia toured Europe seeking help for his diplomatic, military and architectural plans.
The fate of the British army hung by a thread in May 1940, but ships large and small, military and civilian, came to the rescue.
By John Stuart Mill
Philosopher and social activist John Stuart Mill discusses the most liberating kind of education.