The Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution shown in this new set of stamps from Royal Mail did more than just invent machines. They also built the infrastructure of roads, railways and canals that moved raw materials to the factories; took finished goods to market and laid the foundation for today’s mass transportation system. This issue also marks the 250th anniversary of Josiah Wedgwood setting up his own pottery works in Burslem, Staffordshire, Matthew Boulton’s bicentenary and the 250th anniversary of James Brindley commencing the historic Bridgewater Canal from Worsley to Manchester.
- 1st Class – Matthew Boulton – Manufacturing(1728-1809) A Birmingham factory owner and engineer whose works and capital facilitated the manufacture of James Watt’s steam engines.
- 1st Class – James Watt – Steam Engineering(1736-1819) Strong contender for the title of father of the steam age because of his years of hard work in improving the Newcomen design created a ‘steam engine’.
- 50p – Richard Arkwright – Textiles(1732-1792) Credited with having invented the ‘water frame’ for spinning cotton, and sometimes known as the father of the industrial revolution. Arkwright opened the world’s first water-powered cotton mill in Derbyshire.
- 50p – Josiah Wedgwood – Ceramics(1730-1795) Wedgwood not only pioneered the industrial production of ceramics, he was an archetypical industrialist of the age: religious dissenter, anti-slavery campaigner and member of the Lunar Society.
- 56p – George Stephenson – Railways(1781-1848) Stephenson invented or developed several aspects of rail transport which are still with us to this day, including flanged wheels, and the standard gauge.
- 56p – Henry Maudslay – Machine Making(1771-1831). Maudslay saw that the new age of machines would require metal to be worked with precision. He pioneered the making of the machines – lathes, drills, planning machines, etc. which were used to make the other machines of the revolution.
- 72p – James Brindley – Canal Engineering(1716-1772) One of the most important engineers of the eighteenth century and a maker of canals, most notably the Bridgewater, started in 1759, which set the template for later canals. Brindley also pioneered many of the techniques that were later used in railway building.
- 72p – John McAdam – Road Building(1756-1836). While Thomas Telford is usually the major celebrity of Industrial Revolution transport infrastructure, it was McAdam’s designs and building techniques that created Britain’s first decent all-weather roads.
Technical details:The stamps were designed by Webb and Webb. The 37mm x 35mm stamps are printed in sheets of 30/60 by Joh. Enschedé Stamps, Haarlem, Netherlands in litho, perf 14 x 14½ with all-over phosphor
Remark:Beautiful FDC from Royal Mail.