George Stephenson (June 9, 1781 - August 12, 1848).
British engineer who designed a famous and historically important steam-powered locomotive named The Rocket.
George Stephenson was born in Wylam, England, several miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1748, a wagonway -- an arrangement similar to a railway, but with wooden tracks and designed to support horse-drawn carts -- had been built from the Wylam colliery to the River Tyne, running for several miles. The young Stephenson grew up near it, and in 1802 gained employment as an engine-man at a coal mine. For the next ten years his knowledge of steam engines increased, until in 1812 he stopped operating them for a living, and started building them.
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