Brunel's Life and Work
Isambard Kingdom Brunel was most well known for the development of British railway bridges through his engineering work and new ideas. The railway lines united the country and stretched thousands of miles across England. Access to London and Bristol was prominent and the railways even extended as far afield as Exeter and South Wales. Though his most famous route was the Great Western main line. This was created, as the south wanted to have access to the rest of Britain. This was because before the railways had only functioned in the north. The effect of this benefited everyone, as fares were then cheap enough so not just the upper class could use them. This allowed ordinary people to go on holiday, which helped to stimulate seaside towns such as Torquay. Another one of Brunels achievements was the idea of a steamboat connecting Bristol and New York. He aptly named the large vessel the Great Western. Whilst in construction people marvelled at its sheer size but even though the idea was highly criticised it was launched at Bristol in July 1837. However, just before it set sail a fire broke out on ship and Brunel was knocked unconscious. Though four days later the ship did in fact depart from Bristol. It arrived nineteen days later with 200 tonnes of coal still left in the bunkers and was greeted with awe by the Americans. Although the ship was beaten by a rival vessel, the Sirius by a few days to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. The Great Western still became the first real record breaker, as it was the first Atlantic liner built for Queen Victorias service. It also significantly proved Brunel original theory of the proportion of long distance steaming, which is still used as a basis of calculation today. Brunel died in 1888 after a series of illnesses but after his death he was credited for the conceptions of designs in all its details of the Great Eastern. Even now his name is known throughout Britain and his achievements will never be forgotten.
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|Written by||unknown author|
|Contributor||Brunel University Library|
|Format||Postcard of greyscale photograph; 150 mm x 105 mm|
|Source||Torbay Library Services|
|Subject||Brunel. Great Eastern Steamship. Chains. 1857|
|Publisher||Torbay Library Services|
|Rights||Brunel University Library|
|Keywords||Victorian Engineering Costume Portrait Brunel|