The Rocket was designed and built by George Stephenson with the help of his son, Robert, and Henry Booth, for the 1829 Rainhill Trials.
The Trials were held by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, to find the best locomotive engine for a railway line that was being built to serve these two English cities. On the day of the Trials, some 15,000 people came along to see the race of the locomotives.
During the race, the Rocket reached speeds of 24mph during the 20 laps of the course. This was due to several new design features. It was the first locomotive to have a multi-tube boiler - with 25 copper tubes rather than a single flue or twin flue.
The blast pipe also increased the draught to the fire by concentrating exhaust steam at the base of the chimney. This meant that the boiler generated more power (steam), so the Rocket was able to go faster than its rival, and thus secure its place in history.
The Rocket can be seen at the Science Museum, in London.