Top critical review
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Giant of a man and a giant of the steam age.
on 1 January 2008
This biography covers the life of Richard Trevithick, a brilliant but wayward Cornish engineer and inventor who gave the world its first steam-powered locomotive 200 years ago. A well written book that highlights Trevithick's great advances and inventions in the age of steam from the Penydarren engine, the world's first steam locomotive, his portable high power steam engines, his work on tunnels, boats and more. There is also a very interesting period where he goes to Peru to work on the silver mines and gets caught up in a revolution and then actually meets George Stephenson of all people in Costa Rica. A tempestuous man of great strength, drive and energy, Trevithick never made his fortune but he left a rich trail of advancement during the industrial revolution.
A well written book that I enjoyed but tempered with too many letter extracts for my liking and I wish I could have been able to follow the technical explanations in the book a bit better. Never the less a very interesting read.