Caution is our byword
Many industrialists avoided risk-taking, as writer Andrew Ure recalled:
'Persons who begin with large capitals do not succeed, generally speaking, so well as those who begin with small ones cautiously administered.'
If a new, untried steam engine threatened to break down, the resulting stoppage could have serious repercussions - even bankruptcy and a spell in debtors' prison.
Steam engines presented new opportunities, but perhaps Old Bess convinced some people to exploit 'the devil they knew' - alternatives such as water power - instead.