Richard Trevithick

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Trevithick, Richard (1771–1833). Cornish engineer and inventor whose genius did not extend to business. A mine engineer from 1790 before erecting his first engine at Ding Dong (1795), he developed high-pressure, non-condensing engines from 1797 to patent both in 1802. His attainments include demonstrating the first practical steam carriage at Camborne (1801) and locomotive at Penydarran (1804), venting steam by the chimney to improve draught; a hydraulic engine and plunger pump for mines (1798); a steam barge (1805); iron storage tanks and iron ships (1808–9); a near-complete Thames tunnel (1809); a Cornish boiler and engine (1812); a portable agricultural engine (1812); a screw propeller (1815); and a tubular boiler (1816). Bankrupt in 1811, mining ventures led him to South America, 1816–27, at a loss, followed by a final flurry of patents including superheating and the jet propulsion of ships (1831). None made him a living, and he died the employee of a Kentish foundry, two of his sons succeeding where he failed in combining engineering with economy.

J. A. Chartres

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Richard Trevithick (trĕv´ĬthĬk), 1771–1833, British engineer and inventor, b. Cornwall. He is known as the father of locomotive power because of his invention (1800) of the high-pressure steam engine. He built a steam carriage that on Christmas Eve, 1801, in London, carried the first passengers transported by steam power. In 1804 a steam locomotive he constructed was used in Wales on a railway, the first vehicle to be so operated. Trevithick also developed steam engines for use in mines and invented a steam threshing machine.

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Trevithick, Richard (1771–1833) English engineer. In 1801, he built a steam-powered road vehicle. In 1802, Trevithick patented a high-pressure steam engine, his most important invention. In 1803, he built the first steam railway locomotive. In 1816, he went to Peru to install his steam engines in mines.