The Thames Tunnel, London, 1826.

The Thames Tunnel, London, 1826.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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Illustration of Marc Isambard Brunel's (1769-1849) Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping. This was built using the tunnelling shield he patented in 1818. The shield was pushed forward through the soft clay as digging progresed. Construction began in 1825, but was not completed until 1843, partly due to the workings being totally flooded in 1828. Today the twin tunnels are used by the London Underground. From 'Rapport fait a l'Academie des beaux arts de l'Institut de France: sur le chemin souterrain, dit, tunnel, qui s'execute en ce moment, sous la Tamise a Londres', (Report to the French Institute's Academy of Fine Arts: on the underground road, called tunnel, which is currently being built, under the Thames in London), by Benjamin Schlick (1796-1872), published in Paris in 1826.
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