Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) was a French engineer and inventor who travelled to America where he lived for six years and worked as a land surveyor, an architect and later as chief engineer for the City of New York. In 1799 he left America for London where he met Henry Maudslay (1771-1831) and together they introduced the mas production of ships' blocks, thus saving the British navy an enormous amount of money. He improved saw-mills and dockyard machinery at Chatham in Kent, Woolwich Arsenal in London and Liverpool. From 1825, with his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), he constructed the first Thames tunnel designed for foot pasengers.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library