This book provides for the first time a complete look at all of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s contributions to the great age of steamship design. From modelling boats as a child to his youthful dreams of leading a fleet of ships, he was excited by maritime ventures. Brunel was fortunate to be part of an exciting age of maritime steam and he was the great innovator, bringing together the best of the emerging technologies. His first ship was the Great Western, a wooden paddle steamer launched in 1837, and he is well known for the Great Britain and the Great Eastern. But these are not his only vessels and here they are all revealed. From humble industrial craft, his work with the Admiralty on the first screw propelled warships to vast ocean liners, Brunel was constantly sketching out his ideas. His ships travelled the world, speeding up communications and carrying large numbers of passengers across the oceans.
This book provides an overview of all of Brunel’s vessels, small and large, from boats to ships, leisure craft to gunboats, and follows his progression as he pushed boundaries and tested new technology.
Dr Helen Doe is a maritime historian, specialising in the nineteenth century. She is a Fellow of the University of Exeter, Vice Chairman of the British Commission for Maritime History, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Trustee of the SS Great Britain. She has published extensively, and her previous book was The First Atlantic Liner: Brunel’s Great Western Steamship. Author: Helen Doe