'Great Eastern' , 1858.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News' (Vol 58/1 p 136) showing the Great Eastern fitted out and towed to Deptford moorings. This famous steamship, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), and constructed from iron at Millwall, London between 1853-1858,was the largest vesel afloat until she was broken up in 1888. The 'Great Eastern' used two forms of power: paddle-wheels and screw-engines and had a capacity of 4000 pasengers. It took several attempts over three months to launch the ship (sideways) so it could be towed to Deptford for fitting out, during one of which a workman was killed. This final attempt involved a series of hydraulic rams.