These pages cover the background to Gladstone, the locomotive I am currently drawing.
There is information here about the railway it operated on, it's designer and the engine itself. I find the historical context of the railway to be absolutely fascinating. I hope my words don't encumber you.
The industrial revolution had been simmering away for perhaps 175 years prior to the explosion of the railways. Personally I don't think it was Isaac Newton that lit the touch paper, but he is unquestionably a sign of the times in relation to the general awareness of technical possibility. As our collective intelligence reached a critical mass Newton became a focus for learning, in his approach, and his absolute "discoveries".
Railway technology literally exploded into life in the decade between 1830 and 1840, much like the internet exploded into life in the decade beginning just twenty years past. Dotted all around Britain, new railways were literally driven through the coutryside by bare hands and simple human determination. It wasn't plain sailing, and lots of mistakes were made I'm sure.
When one looks at the persistence of their legacy, it's difficult to quantify magnitude of change they brought about. That we can hop on a train, moan that it's ten minutes late as we sail through gridlock, and barely think about what made it possible, just makes it all the more incredible.
The historical timeline is so important to understanding the impact of the industrial revolution, that the first main page in this group is a list of important names from history. Read on, I hope you enjoy.