George Stephenson was born on 9th June 1781 to Robert and Mabel Stephenson. He was born and brought up with a very poor family background. Since George?s father had no money to send him to school, George started working for daily wages from his childhood days. He was herding the cows owned by his neighbour for which he was paid two cents per day. Later he worked in a coal mine as a picker, where he had to clean the coal stones. He worked as a fireman, plugman, brakeman, and an engineer in different coal mines. George was fascinated by machines from an early age.
Working hard for daily wages, throughout the day, George used this money for his education. He attended night schools from where he learnt to read and write. He also concentrated on imparting arithmetic skills which, according to him, was equally important in his education.
The concept of inventing a locomotive was being engraved in George’s mind when he saw the wagons drawn by the horses passing by him. His favourite past time was to explore the engines in the mine field which slowly transformed him to be a professional in repairing the pumps at the miming fields. In 1802, he became a colliery engineman. His strong determination to explore and invent something new kept hindering his peace of mind. This helped him to discover something new. In 1804, George worked at Scotland in a coal mine which had the James Watt?s steam engine, which was regarded as the best steam engine of the day.
At the age of 20, George started work on his first locomotive. He named it as Blucher which was tested for the first time on the Cillingwood Railway on July 25, 1814. Over the next five years, he built 16 different engines. The track was laid out in sections. The first part was worked by locomotives; this was followed by fixed engines and cables. After the railway reached 250 feet above sea level, the coal wagons travelled down over 2 miles of self-acting inclined plane. This was followed by another 2 miles of locomotive haulage. The rail was constructed with half lap joints. George Stephenson only used fixed engines and locomotives and had therefore produced the first ever railway that was completely independent of animal power.