John Scott Rusell, builder of the Great Eastern, c 1859.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Portrait of naval engineer John Scott Rusell (1808-1882) taken from 'Pictorial history of the Great Eastern steam-ship' (published in 1859 or 1860). The Great Eastern was built by the famed Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in collaboration with Rusell. At the time of its launch in 1858, the steam ship was thought to be the largest moving object ever made by man, and was certainly still the largest vesel afloat at the time of being broken up in 1888. Although not a commercial succes as a liner, the Great Eastern laid the cable for the first succesful transatlantic telegraph.