'Proposed Entrance to the Thames Tunnel', London, 1836.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Coloured lithograph after an original drawing by B Dixie showing one of the entrances to the Thames Tunnel and the spiral staircase leading to it. Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849), engineer and inventor, was at the forefront of civil engineering during the Industrial Revolution. His most remarkable undertaking was the Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping. Construction began in 1825, but was not completed until 1843, partly due to the workings being totally flooded in 1828, causing the project to be abandoned for several years. 50,000 people walked through the tunnel on the day it opened. Today it is part of the London Underground.