Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English engineer, c 1850s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving reproduced from the 'Illustrated London News' showing Brunel (1806-1859) surrounded by vignettes of some of his most significant projects - the steamships 'Great Eastern', 'Great Britain', and 'Great Western' and the Saltash and Hungerford bridges. Brunel was the chief engineer of the Great Western Railway (GWR) from 1833 to 1858, for whom he designed many bridges and viaducts, including the Royal Albert Bridge, Cornwall, and Clifton Suspension Bridge. In 1835 he had the idea of extending the GWR line westwards by means of a steamship route acros the Atlantic from Bristol to New York.