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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom BrunelIsambard Kingdom Brunel Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806–1859) was an English engineer, famous for building the Great Western Railway, connecting the west of England with London. For it, he constructed a number of viaducts, tunnels and bridges, many still in use today. Brunel went on to design three great steamships, including the Great Britain (1843), the world's first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship. Brunel's tunnels and bridges were the longest in the world at the time; his ships were the largest and speediest. His designs were engineering marvels of the Victorian Age.

Construction of the Royal Albert BridgeConstruction of the Royal Albert Bridge

Brunel as a young manBrunel as a young man

Early life

Isambard's father, Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769–1849), was himself a famous engineer. French by birth, he settled in Britain after the French Revolution and married Englishwoman Sophia Kingdom. Isambard was born on 9th April 1806 in Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire. He was sent to school in France and was 16 when he returned to England to work with his father. Marc was building a tunnel under the River Thames from Rotherhithe to Wapping, a project eventually completed in 1843.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Severe flooding in the Thames Tunnel while under construction in 1828 almost killed the young Brunel. He was seriously injured and spent six months recuperating.

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