“Puffing Billy”

Wonder what Stephenson would have made of todays railways? His might have only travelled at a slow speed…but at least it ran! Which is a lot more than can be said of todays British trains.

Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young’ 1890.


‘On the 27th of September, 1825, George Stephenson drove his engine “Locomotion”-a name that was afterwards changed to “Puffing Billy”- from Brusselton to Stockton on the Stockton and Darlington railway, a distance of twenty miles, in what was then thought the quick time of five hours. She ran for thirty years and was afterwards used as a pumping engine. In 1857 she was restored to her original state and placed on a pedestal in the North Road railway station at Darlington. This engine is often confounded with another of George Stephenson’s engines which now stands in a conspicuous position on the High Level Bridge at Newcastle. North Country folk seem at first to have called all engines by the famous name of “Billy.” The New Heading contains a picture of the Darlington Billy.’

A Curious Race

Taken from ‘Little Folks; a magazine for the Young.’ 1890.



‘In the north island of Japan and in some parts of the extreme north-east of Asia there lives an interesting race of people called Ainos. Where they came from nobody seems to know, for in many respects they are not at all like the Japanese and Chinese. The men are well built but rather under-sized, and their bodies are covered more or less thickly with hair. As the portrait in the New Heading shows, they wear long beards, and the hair of their head is also long and bushy. The women are not so well looking, as they have to do all the hard work of the tribe. The folk are not gifted with much intelligence, and they worship natural objects and animals, the bear being specially selected for this purpose. They spend their time in fishing and hunting. It is hard to tell what is the number of the Ainos. But they are not supposed to number more than 50,000 at the most, it is likely that they will sooner or later become extinct.’


The Eyes of the Junk

.Taken from ‘Little Folks; the Magazine for the Young’ of 1890


‘Why a boat should have eyes is probably not quite clear to you, but the Chinese sailor thinks them absolutely necessary. So the junks of the Flowery Land all have pairs of eyes painted on the side of their bows, and the native sailor will not sail in a vessel that has not got them. “For,” quoth he, “no have yes, no can see; no can see, no can go.” While sailing up the river Pei-ho to Pekin, Bishop fowler happened to sit in a free and easy way with his legs hanging over the side of the boat so that they covered one eye. He observed that the crew grew very uneasy, but could not make out the cause of their anxiety till at last they came to him and asked him to move his legs away, as the ship could not see to go!’

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