Background of George Stephenson
Growing up in the small rural town of Wylam, the inventor of the steam locomotive did not receive education as a child. Stephenson watched cattle for his family then at 14 years old he became a firefighter same as his father. Due to his previous occupations, he did not require schooling and remained illiterate until age 17. He finally took lessons and learned to read after he was annoyed by his inability to follow current events in the paper. With this newly found knowledge, Stephenson began reading books and applying his learning towards innovating. Before he created his famed Rocket, George Stephenson's first invention was a successful headlamp that allowed coal miners to use a lamp without worrying about the flame igniting flammable gases while digging.