Plaster bust of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1803-1859). Brunel left school in 1822 to work for his father Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) on the construction of the Thames Tunnel. He later became the chief engineer of the Great Western Railway 1833-1858 and designed many bridges & viaducts including the Royal Albert Bridge, Cornwall, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol. 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. To this end he designed the 'Great Western', the 'Great Britain' and the 'Great Eastern' steamships.
© National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library -- All rights reserved