Funnel and jacket of the 'Great Eastern' after the explosion in September 1859.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Stereoscopic photograph. This famous steamship was the largest vesel afloat until she was broken up in 1888. Only in 1899 were her dimensions exceeded by the S.S. 'Oceanic'. She was built of iron at Millwall (London). Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) had proposed to the Eastern Steam Navigation Company the construction of a steamship five or six times the size of any then in use. It would have two forms of power: paddle-wheels and screw-engines.