JOHN BLENKINSOP (1783 – 22 January 1831) was an English mining engineer and an inventor of steam locomotives , who designed the first practical railway locomotive.
He was born in Felling, County Durham, the son of a stonemason and
was apprenticed to his cousin, Thomas Barnes, a Northumberland coal
viewer. From 1808 he became agent to Charles John Brandling , who
owned collieries on his Middleton estate near
* 1 Blenkinsop and the Middleton Railway * 2 See also * 3 Notes and references * 4 Further reading
BLENKINSOP AND THE MIDDLETON RAILWAY
In 1758 the Brandlings had built a wooden wagonway to carry coal into
Leeds, using horse-drawn vehicles , now known as the Middleton Railway
. Not all the land traversed by the wagonway belonged to Brandling,
and it was the first railway to be authorised by
Act of Parliament
In the early nineteenth century, attempts were being made to employ
steam power for haulage .
While many people, such as William Hedley , felt that adhesion should be adequate with a locomotive weighing around five tons, Blenkinsop was less sanguine. In 1811 he patented (No 3431), a rack and pinion system for a locomotive which would be designed and built by Matthew Murray of Fenton, Murray and Wood in Holbeck .
The general opinion of the time was that a locomotive would draw up
to four times its weight by adhesion alone (assuming good conditions),
but Blenkinsop wanted more, and his engine, weighing five tons,
regularly hauled a payload of ninety tons. The first locomotive
probably was Salamanca , built in early 1812. Three other locomotives
followed, one later in 1812, one around 1813, and the last one in
1815. One of these three was named Lord Wellington, and the other two
allegedly were named Prince Regent and Marquis Wellington, though
there is no contemporary mention of those names. Similar locomotives
were built for collieries at Orrell near
Two locomotives of this pattern were also made by the Royal Iron
The design was superseded when rolled iron rail, which could bear the
heavier adhesion locomotives, was introduced in 1820. This was quickly
In addition to managing the Middleton Collieries, in the 1820s John
Blenkinsop was the consulting engineer for Sir John Lister Kaye of
Denby Grange, owner of
Caphouse Colliery . Also, as a qualified
"Viewer", he was hired by various other colliery owners to examine
their collieries and report on such vital matters as the expected
future production of a pit, as well as to make suggestions as to how
its operation and production could be improved. Blenkinsop died in
Blenkinsop's grave *
Inscription, upper *
Wikimedia Commons has media related to JOHN BLENKINSOP .
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ The gravestone may appear to be carved 1851 in this photograph. This is due to the light and the style of the 3 employed by the mason.
* ^ Encyclopædia Britannica John Blenkinsop * ^ "Curiosities of Locomotive Design". Catskill. Retrieved 2008-03-22. * ^ Morgan, Bryan (1971). Railways: Civil Engineering. London: Longmans.
* Chrimes, Mike (2002) Blenkinsop, John in A Biographical Dictionary
of Civil Engineers , p 62.
* Seccombe, Thomas (1901). "Blenkinsop, John". In
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 169691695 * LCCN : nb2011008628 * IATH