Throughout the 1700s, the turnpike system spread throughout Britain, charging travellers a toll (fee) at different points along its roads to pay for maintenance and improvement. Often situated in isolated areas of the country, the toll collectorsneeded a good view from these houses in case of attack from thieves or protestors. This tollhouse was designed by Thomas Telford.
The advent of steam hauled railways in the 1820s quickly revolutionised passenger travel and the transport of goods across Britain and the wider world. This is an early train ticket for a journey from Liverpool to Warrington.
John McAdam revolutionised road travel in the 1800s, through his ‘Macadamisation’ method. The greatest advance in road construction since Roman times, his principles are still applied to road building today.
In 1789, a coal ship named Adventure ran aground at the mouth of the River Tyne during a violent storm. The sea was too rough for the local boats and nothing could be done to save the thirteen-man crew. This tragic loss prompted a competition to design a new type of boat, that could be used for sea rescues. It would need to be robust, particularly buoyant and self-righting if it capsized in rough seas. The result was the first ‘lifeboat’.
During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, prisoner exchanges between Britain and France only occurred rarely, meaning large numbers of captives were held for long periods in each country. French prisoners in Britain were often invited or compelled to practice crafts, and manufactured many intricate models made from bones and other recycled goods.
Canals were an essential part of the Industrial Revolution and spawned Britain’s first successful steamboat, the Charlotte Dundas.
This is the first steam powered railway engine to run on a public railway. It was designed by George Stephenson and sparked a transport revolution that transformed the lives and fortunes of people across Britain and the wider world.
By combining size, power and innovative technology, Brunel revolutionised sea travel and paved the way for modern ship design.
Invented 200 years ago, the humble bicycle is one of the most popular and enduring innovations of all time.