His biography is a guide of perseverance and the tale of a beggar who became a prince through his own efforts. Stephenson was the son of a miner, he joined the mines at the age of eight, and learned to read and write as an adult. Completely on his own he mastered the profession of mechanic and rose through the ranks to become chief mechanic of the coal mines. He solved the problem of transporting coal from the mine by adapting a steam engine to the job. The steam locomotive was a stone's throw away from here, and Stephenson did throw that stone. In September 1825, the world's first “Locomotion No.1,” driven by Stephenson himself, rode on the world's first Stockton-Darlington railroad. It was cheerfully carrying wagons with coal, flour, and an acceptance commission. Then Stephenson set sights at Manchester and Liverpool and designed a railroad between them, including bridges and viaducts that smoothed the longitudinal profile of the track. By this time steam locomotive building in England had grown large, and Stephenson had to bid. In October 1829, the only speed race among steam locomotives in the history of mankind took place. Stephenson's steam locomotive, shrewdly named “The Rocket,” won the race by a clear margin and was accepted into service. Not everything and not always, however, went smoothly, you had to run ahead of the locomotive – break up peasants who tried to break the machine. And to answer questions, sometimes pretty surprising. Like the question asked by one of the committees: won't animals be frightened by the red-hot chimney and the locomotive furnace? Stephenson was quick on the draw: No, they will think that the pipe and firebox are painted red.
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