Richard Trevithick Google Doodle Celebrates his 240th Birthday

Posted on Apr 13 2011 - 12:55am by Richard Sharp

It seems Google Doodle’s are like busses at the moment, you wait ages for one and then two come along at the same time (in this case on concurrent days). Today it’s the turn of Richard Trevithick, a Cornish Inventor famed for perfecting the high pressure steam engine. Today would have been his 240th Birthday and Google has yet again helped the world celebrate his special day.

The Doodle replaces the standard logo with a steam engine complete with parts that make out the letters of Google. The two letter O’s have been replaced with a red and yellow cog whilst the second g appears to be a water tank/steam vessel. The letter L is a chimney, it’s all rather clever even though it’s a static image.

When Richard was 33 the very first locomotive powered railway journey occurred at the Penydarren Iron Works near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, UK. He enjoyed earlier success with the Puffing Devil steam powered road loco which carried several men up Fore Street.

After witnessing Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Thames Tunnel collapse, which almost killed Brunel, Trevithick suggested a new way to build underground tunnels. His ‘tube tunnel’ was not used until 70 years after his death; engineers sank a sealed tube into the Michigan River creating the first submerged road of its kind in the world. This process is still be used today.

Richard Trevithick influenced a great deal of industries with his steam powered machines, they were used to manufacture cannons, excavate buildings, transport and extensive inventions in nautical engineering. The man was a true genius and today’s Doodle goes some way to mark his achievements and raise awareness of his legacy. Happy Birthday Mr. Trevithick.

Image: Google

About the Author

Richard Sharp is the founder of gadgetsandgizmos.org. He loves technology, gadgets (comes with the territory) and social media. You'll find him writing features, attending events and playing with cool tech. Life's good.

7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. KRPETRE April 13, 2011 at 2:29 am - Reply

    How does Google choose its Doodles? Some seem quite unexpected. They have huge value to individuals and marketeers. I would be interested in a look into this.

  2. penwithian April 13, 2011 at 5:22 am - Reply

    I think Richard Trevithick, would have described himself as a Cornish Engineer rather than as an 'English designer' but nevertheless it is good to see him celebrated. He was a man of great accomplishment who endured hard times.

  3. Will Richards April 13, 2011 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Love the ingenious doodles, but even more, the stuff of history they evoke which reminds us why we can be proud of our heritage. Would have been nice to see a bit more information, like how his ideas tied in with Stephenson and his rocket, or contributed to the industrial revolution.

  4. Kernower April 13, 2011 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Cornish not English.

  5. Paul April 13, 2011 at 7:59 am - Reply

    'Cornish designer' please!

  6. John Scriven April 13, 2011 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Great doodle – much appreciated as 1) it's my birthday & 2) I'm 1/2 Cornish too – Kernow bys vyken!

  7. James Corin April 13, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

    "Today it’s the turn of Richard Trevithick, an English designer famed for perfecting the high pressure steam engine. "

    Please change this information as it is incorrect. Trevithick was a Cornish engineer, and known as 'The Cornish Giant". During the time of Trevithick, Cornwall was at the very forefront of engineering technology due to the tin and copper mining industries, and an extremely clear distinction was made between Cornish engineers and English engineers, as can be seen in the biography written by his son "Francis Trevithick, Life of Richard Trevithick,1872." which refers to him as a Cornishman throughout.

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