Richard Trevithick’s 240th birthday has today been celebrated with a Google Doodle on search engine Google.
Today’s artistic Google logo features a steam train, which symbolises the birthday of steam engine pioneer Richard Trevithick 240 years ago.
Trevithick invented both the first high pressure steam engine as well as the first operational steam locomotive.
He was born in a mining area in Cornwall on April 13 in 1771 and he built his first locomotive the ‘Puffing Devil’ in 1801.
A few years later in 1804, his Pen-y-Darren locomotive made the world’s first locomotive-hauled railway journey when it carried 10 tons of iron between Pen-y-Darren to Abercynon (almost 10 miles).
Already as a young boy Trevithick became interested in steam engines as he used to watch the engines pump water from the deep Cornwall copper mines to the surface.
He was at one point also the neighbour of William Murdoch, the inventor of the oscillating steam engine, and it’s believed that Murdoch inspired him with his experiments with steam powered road locomotion.
Trevithick was later assigned a post as a mining consultant in Peru, and travelled South America extensively.
He returned to Cornwall and UK 11 years later.
Although Trevithick was a successful engineer, he was later declared bankrupt after some of the projects he was involved with failed, and he died a poor man on April 22, 1833.