Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Liverpool Manchester Railway

S. G. Hughs after Isaac Shaw

Travelling on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway

A Train of the First Class of Carriages, with the Mail
A Train of the Second Class for Outside Passengers

30.5 x 15

An aquatint engraving partly printed in colour and finished by hand, engraved by S. G. Hughs after Isaac Shaw and published in London by Rudolph Ackermann in 1833.

It is hard to overstate the importance and significance of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in the history of rail travel in England and its contribution to the Industrial Revolution that was to follow. In its astonishing roll call of accolades, this railway was the first in the world to link two cities. It opened in September 1830 so by the time this print was made it had been in service for just over two years. Other "firsts" include its signalling system, the fact that it ran to a timetable, its ability to carry the mail and the fact that it ran totally on steam: no horses were injured in the making of this railway!

Of particular interest in Isaac Shaw's detailed and engaging picture are the delineation of images into first and second class. In First Class travel we see enclosed carriages with glass windows and luggage piled on the roof, reminiscent of a comfortable Broughman and offering all the facilities that its aristocratic or upper-class clientele would expect. Things are not so comfortable down in Second Class where only a canopy offers shelter from the elements. In this scene the weather appears to be set fair, but one can only imagine what it would be like on a wet November night or a blistering hot June afternoon.


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