Sir Richard Philips (1767-1840), radical Leicester bookseller and publisher of many works of popular education in the arts and sciences. He founded the periodical the Monthly Magazine and in the August issue, Philips himself contributed an article on the steam locomotive in which he proved himself to have been one of the first men to realize its significance. He wrote -
" I felt renewed delight on witnessing at this place the economy of
horse-labour on the iron rail-way; and a heavy sigh escaped me, as I thought
of the inconceivable millions which had been spent about Malta, four or
five which might have been the means of extending double lines or iron
rail-ways from London to Edinburgh, Glassgow, Holyhead, Milford, Falmouth,
Yarmouth, Dover and Portsmouth! A reward of a single thousand would
have supplied coaches, and other vehicles... and we might, ere this, have
witnessed our mail coaches running at the rate of ten miles an hour, drawn
by a sngle horse, or impelled fifteen miles by Blenkinsop's steam engine!
Such would have been a legitimate motive for overstepping the income of
the nation, and the completion of so great and useful a work might have
afforded rational grounds for public triumph in a general jubilee! "
Samuel Smiles - During the mid 1800s, Samuel Smiles wrote a number of works on Industrial Britain and is probably best known for his philosophy of self-help.
The iron rail proved a magicians' road. The locomotive gave a new celerity to time. It virtually reduced England to a sixth of its size. It brought the country nearer to the town and the town to the country... It energized punctuality, discipline, and attention; and proved a moral teacher by the influence of example. - Self Help; With Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance by Samuel Smiles June, 1997 Project Guternberg-[Etext #935]
"...Equally important has been the influence of the Railway--now the
principal means of communication in all civilized countries.
This invention has started into full life within our own time.
The locomotive engine had for some years been employed in the
haulage of coals; but it was not until the opening of the
Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, that the importance of
the invention came to be acknowledged. The locomotive railway
has since been everywhere adopted throughout Europe. In America,
Canada, and the Colonies, it has opened up the boundless
resources of the soil, bringing the country nearer to the towns,
and the towns to the country. It has enhanced the celerity of
time, and imparted a new series of conditions to every rank of
life." - Men of Invention and Industry by Samuel Smiles
| Sir Richard Phillips| Rev. Edward Stanley|
This page was created by Julia Lee '99. It is maintained by Professor Robert Schwartz of the History Department,