Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Iron Road; writing the history of the railway from 1750 to 1850

This event has finished Took place on: Thursday, 22nd Feb 2024

 Free

Even well-informed historians are apt to tell us that the Stockton and Darlington (1825) was the first railway and the Liverpool and Manchester (1830) the second. Not so. Britain already had many hundred miles of railway by the 1820s, and shorter systems were also to be found elsewhere in the world, from Kazakhstan to Virginia, from Sweden to Australia. They trace their origins to the wooden mine and colliery systems of the late medieval and early modern period which have been comprehensively described by Dr MJT Lewis in his 1970 volume Early Wooden Railways. However, no overall study has hitherto attempted to synthesize understanding of the subsequent and all-important stage in their global evolution, the substitution of iron for organic elements and of mechanical traction for animal haulage, as their potential to supersede roads and canals as regional and national transport networks became increasingly apparent in the second half of the eighteenth century and in the first half of the nineteenth. This book hopes to fill that gap. It is not therefore an inquiry into the origins of the railway but an exploration of a crucial period of its history, from wooden way to iron road, to see how it met the needs of the Industrial Revolution, that profound change in human circumstances which involved not only new methods of manufacture but also more effective means of distribution.

As a synthetic study, it draws on the very many authoritative and informed studies which have been undertaken of individual railways and locomotives, as well as of other aspects of this subject, particularly those which have merged from the regular Early Railways and Early Main Line Railways conferences, which have brought together a wide range of scholars from different disciplines. It endeavors to avoid ‘techno-nationalism’ and a narrative of heroic engineer-inventors and British exceptionalism, acknowledging the way that engineers, mechanics and investors in other countries shrewdly adapted the insular model to their own purposes.

In 2025 we will be celebrating the bicentenary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, in 2029 the bicentenary of the Rainhill locomotive trials and in 2030 the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester and of the Baltimore and Ohio. Now is a good time to consider the impact that this technology has had, and ways of sharing its history.


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This event has finished Took place on: Thursday, 22nd Feb 2024

 Free

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Disclaimer: All information given is correct at the time of compiling the listings. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser. Photos and images used in this listing are supplied by the organiser.

2024-02-22 2024-02-22 Europe/London Iron Road; writing the history of the railway from 1750 to 1850 A talk about the early history of the railways. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2024/02/22/iron-road-writing-the-history-of-the-railway-from-1750-to-1850-366962 Society of Antiquaries of London,Burlington House,Piccadilly,London

Location

Society of Antiquaries of London,

Burlington House,
Piccadilly,
London,
W1J 0BE

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