200th anninversary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Brunel was one of the most versatile and audacious engineers of the 19th century, responsible for the design of tunnels, bridges, railway lines and ships.
The work for which Brunel is probably best remembered is his construction of a network of tunnels, bridges and viaducts for the Great Western Railway. In 1833, he was appointed their chief engineer and work began on the line that linked London to Bristol. Impressive achievements during its construction included the viaducts at Hanwell and Chippenham, the Maidenhead Bridge, the Box Tunnel and Bristol Temple Meads Station.
As well as bridges, tunnels and railways, Brunel was responsible for the design of several famous ships. The 'Great Western', launched in 1837, was the first steamship to engage in transatlantic service. The 'Great Britain', launched in 1843, was the world's first iron-hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner. The 'Great Eastern', launched in 1859, was designed in cooperation with John Scott Russell, and was by far the biggest ship ever built up to that time, but was not commercially successful.