1781-1848. The son of a colliery fireman George Stephenson was born in Wylam. He worked with steam engines in the colliery and by regularly taking them apart soon became in charge of making the engines for the mine. He built his first steam engine in 1813. By 1820 he had built another fifteen. His employers were so pleased they gave him the job of building a railway from Hetton to Sunderland. In 1821 he became chief engineer on the Stockton and Darlington railway during which he developed a way of making cast iron rails. In 1823, along with his son George, Edward Pease and Michael Longridge he formed The Robert Stephenson & Company, at Forth Street, Newcastle, the worlds first manufacturer of steam engines. In 1829 their engine The Rocket won a competition to provide engines for the Liverpool to Mancheser railway. He died in 1848. His son George Stephenson also became a railway engineer.