John C Bourne

John C Bourne. Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway. London, 1839.

John C Bourne. Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway. London, 1839.

John Cooke Bourne’s (1814-1896) lithographs of the construction of the London and Birmingham Railway depict not only the most striking scenery along its route but also celebrate its engineering triumphs. In 1836, less than a mile from Bourne's home in Lamb’s Conduit Street, London, the engineer Robert Stephenson began the line’s construction, and Bourne began recording its progress. He sent several examples of the sketches and watercolours he made to John Britton (1771-1857), writer and patron of the arts, who was greatly impressed and subsequently became Bourne’s sponsor. The line was completed in 1838, a year after Queen Victoria’s coronation.

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