Steam Carriages

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Prior to the appearance of the first railways in Britain, steam-powered stage coaches known as "steam carriages" were in regular service between many towns in Britain from 1820 to 1840. These prints are hand-colored stone lithographs picturing Gurney's and Handcock's steam carriages, published in London by R. Powell, circa 1850.

At an early age, inventor Goldsworth Gurney met Richard Trevithick, a pioneer of steam railways, Gurney was one of the first, if not the first person to give serious thought to the construction of a vehicle propelled by steam to provide travel on the common roads. In 1825, Gurney took out Patent 5170 to register his progress with his carriage project, and completed the carriage in 1828. It successfully travelled to and from London to Bath at an average speed 15 miles per hour, amazing every traveller, so he built several more and opened a passenger service.

In 1833, Walter Hancock, another inventor, started a steam carriage service Paddington to London's Regents Park. Between 1833 and 1836 Hancock’s "Enterprise" and other steam omnibuses ran in London and from London to Brighton at speeds up to twelve miles an hour. The steam coaches of the early 1830's were immensely popular and always crowded; and since Hancock’s London services ran over four thousand miles without serious accident, it could not be alleged that they were in any way dangerous.

Gurney's "The New Steam Carriage, 1828" was drawn by Garner Morton and engraved by Pyall, originally published by Thos McLean, London. This print is in excellent condition. The size of this print is 36cm x 49cm
Hancock's "Enterprise" was drawn by W. Summers and engraved by C. Hund, originally published June, 1833 by Ackerman & Company of London. This print is in very good condition, clean with very little spotting, although a crease line is apparent in the extreme lower right corner of the print. The size is 41cm x 49cm

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