Treasure's description

Brunel's Great Eastern

Brunel's Great Eastern

This exquisite pen and ink sketch of the Great Eastern Steam Ship can be dated from the first half of 1853, and comes from Large Sketchbook 1852-1854, one of the fifty plus sketchbooks held by Special Collections. These sketchbooks contain Isambard Kingdom Brunel's preliminary thoughts on many of his projects, and give a wonderful insight into Brunel's work practises. Construction of the Great Eastern commenced in February 1854 and the ship was launched on the River Thames in November 1857, for fitting out, and by the 7 September 1859 the Great Eastern was ready to take its first voyage. The ship had achieved celebrity status, as, by far, the largest vessel ever built, being known as 'The Leviathan' or 'Great Ship'. 15 September 2009 marks the 150th Anniversary of the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Large Sketchbook 1852-1854 folio 18