Stevens, Robert Livingston

SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
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b. 18 October 1787 Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
d. 20 April 1856 Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
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American engineer, pioneer of steamboats and railways.
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R.L.Stevens was the son of John Stevens and was given the technical education his father lacked. He assisted his father with the Little Juliana and the Phoenix, managed the commercial operation of the Phoenix on the Delaware River, and subsequently built many other steamboats.
In 1830 he and his brother Edwin A.Stevens obtained a charter from the New Jersey Legislature for the Camden \& Amboy Railroad \& Transportation Company, and he visited Britain to obtain rails and a locomotive. Railway track in the USA then normally comprised longitudinal timber rails with running surfaces of iron straps, but Stevens designed rails of flat-bottom section, which were to become standard, and had the first batch rolled in Wales. He also designed hookheaded spikes for them, and "iron tongues", which became fishplates. From Robert Stephenson \& Co. (see Robert Stephenson) he obtained the locomotive John Bull, which was similar to the Liverpool \& Manchester Railway's Samson. The Camden \& Amboy Railroad was opened in 1831, but John Bull, a 0–4–0, proved over sensitive to imperfections in the track; Stevens and his mechanic, Isaac Dripps, added a two-wheeled non-swivelling "pilot" at the front to guide it round curves. The locomotive survives at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
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Further Reading
H.P.Spratt, 1958, The Birth of the Steamboat, Charles Griffin.
J.H.White Jr, 1979, A History of the American Locomotive—Its Development: 1830– 1880, New York: Dover Publications Inc.
J.F.Stover, 1961, American Railroads, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
See also: Adams, William Bridges (fishplates); Vignoles, Charles Blacker (flat-bottom rail).
PJGR

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Stevens, Robert Livingston — born Oct. 18, 1787, Hoboken, N.J., U.S. died April 20, 1856, Hoboken U.S. engineer and ship designer. The son of John Stevens, he tested the first steamboat to use screw propellers. He designed the railway T rail in 1830, and later the railroad… …   Universalium

  • Stevens, Robert Livingston — (18 oct. 1787, Hoboken, N.J., EE.UU.–20 abr. 1856, Hoboken). Ingeniero y diseñador naval estadounidense. Hijo de John Stevens, probó el primer vapor en usar hélices motrices. Diseñó en 1830 el riel ferroviario en T y más tarde el clavo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robert Livingston Stevens — (* 1778 in Hoboken, New Jersey; † 1856 ebenda) war ein amerikanischer Ingenieur und Konstrukteur der seine Fähigkeiten insbesondere der Eisenbahntechnik, Dampfschiffen und Fährbooten widmete. Er war Sohn von Colonel John Stevens sowie Präsident… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Livingston (1746–1813) — death place=Clermont, New York party=None profession=Politician spouse=Mary Stevens Livingston nationality= United States footnotes=Robert R. Livingston (November 27, 1746 ndash; February 26, 1813), of New York, was a Federalist Party delegate to …   Wikipedia

  • Stevens — Stevens, Siaka Probyn Stevens, Wallace * * * (as used in expressions) Hewitt, Abram S(tevens) Maxim, Sir Hiram (Stevens) Ruby Stevens Stevens, George Stevens, John Stevens, John Paul Stevens, Robert Livingston …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Livingston — /liv ing steuhn/, n. 1. Robert R., 1746 1813, U.S. political figure and jurist. 2. a township in NE New Jersey. 28,040. * * * (as used in expressions) Livingston Robert R. Livingston William Stevens Robert Livingston * * * ▪ Montana, United… …   Universalium

  • Stevens — /stee veuhnz/, n. 1. Alfred, 1817 75, English painter and sculptor. 2. George (Cooper), 1905 75, U.S. film director. 3. John Cox /koks/, 1749 1838, and his son Robert Livingston, 1787 1856, U.S. engineers and inventors. 4. John Paul, born 1920, U …   Universalium

  • Robert — /rob euhrt/, n. 1. Henry Martyn /mahr tn/, 1837 1923, U.S. engineer and authority on parliamentary procedure: author of Robert s Rules of Order (1876, revised 1915). 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning glory and bright. * * * (as… …   Universalium

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  • Livingston — (as used in expressions) Livingston, Robert R. Livingston, William Stevens, Robert Livingston …   Enciclopedia Universal

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