Launching gear used for 'Great Eastern', 1857.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate reproduced from Illustrated London News (Vol 57/2 p 489). This famous steamship, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), was the largest vesel afloat until she was broken up in 1888. Brunel had proposed to the Eastern Steam Navigation Company the construction of a steamship five or six times the size of any then in use, with two forms of power: paddle-wheels and screw-engines.