Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 126,751 pages of information and 199,760 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Whinfield

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Cast iron cupboard (or safe?) at Beamish Museum
Cast iron cupboard (or safe?) at Beamish Museum

John Whinfield of Pipewellgate, Gateshead who constructed the second locomotive ever built in the world to the design of Richard Trevithick

Reports of Trevithick’s Pen-y-Darren locomotive came to the attention of Christopher Blackett, the proprietor of Wylam Colliery (Newcastle), who ordered a locomotive from Trevithick. This was built at Whinfield’s Foundry, Pipewellgate, Gateshead owned by Trevithick’s sort-of-agent for the North East, John Whinfield.

A Trevithick-type locomotive built for Wylam by John Whinfield of Gateshead in 1805 never went into service, and the line was relaid with L-shaped plate rails in 1808.

John Steele who had worked on the building of the locomotive at Pen-y-Darren (according to some sources but that is disputed[1]) supervised the construction.

Two cast iron cupboards (or safes?) dated 1813 can be seen at Beamish Museum. Both include 'Gateshead', while one also has 'Bishop Aukland' cast in (see photos).

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Life of Richard Trevithick by F. Trevithick: Volume 1: Chapter 9
  • Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive by Robert Young. Published 1923.