s 'Great Britain' leaving Blackwall, London, 1845.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'Great Britain' was the first screw-propelled, iron hulled vesel to cros the Atlantic. Designed and built under the supervision of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) in Bristol, the ship on completion in 1843 was twice the tonnage of any previous ship. It provided accommodation for about 360 pasengers, and was used extensively for carrying emigrants to the USA and Australia, before running ashore in September 1846.