Courtesy of the Science Museum | Licence: CC BY-NC-SA
Courtesy of the Science Museum | Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

Richard Trevithick's Railroad Euston Square 1809

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From the Collection


Richard Trevithick's Railroad Euston Square 1809 / T Rowlandson. - [1809-1925?]. Drawing: ink and watercolour, on paper, image lined 22x26cm on sheet 25.5x30.5cm. - Title inscribed in ink below image; signature T Rowlandson, image bl corner. - Depicts the circular enclosure and crowds enjoying a demonstration of Richard Trevithick's steam rail locomotive 'Catch Me Who Can' at Euston Square, London, [if at all, in July 1808; site now occupied by University College London]. - Attributed formerly to Rowlandson, but several versions exist, and this may be another, inscribed later, or more probably, a fair copy worked later, perhaps after an engraving of 1871 in Trevithick's biography or another derivative in 1881; style not quite right, and paper derived from woodpulp. - Provenance: Inscribed in similar ink on verso bl, is name and address of HC Levis, 83 Cannon St London EC4; writing and letters TR and E similar to that of writing on and below image. Howard Coppuck Levis died 1935, was writer on bibliographies and prints and may have owned this work; the address code EC4 dates to c1919 on (Levis' firm moved 1921); it was purchased by Captain Trevithick down Charing Cross Road by 1926

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Courtesy of the Science Museum

From the Watercolour World


Euston Square, London, England


Tww Comment

Trevithick's 'Steam Circus' was situated just south of today's Euston Square tube station. The 'Catch Me Who Can' was a popular attraction, with visitors paying to ride in its carriages. It closed following a derailment.