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DM1306 - Brunel Collection
11 - Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the SS Great Eastern
Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the SS Great Eastern
These letterbooks contain copies of most of the correspondence sent and recevied by Isambard Kingdom Brunel during the Great Eastern project. There are 6 large quarto volumes with 5 of the volumes labelled I-V on the spine which are also lettered 'E.S.N. Compy Report Book'. The remaining volume is lettered 'Great Ship Company Report Book'. The correspondence covers a wide range of recipients and topics although key correspondents include ship-builder John Scott Russell, Henry Wollaston Blake and William Langdon of James Watt & Co, Professors G.B. Airey and C. Piazzi Smyth of the Greenwich and Edinburgh Royal Observatories respectively as well as John Yates, secretary of the Eastern Steam Navigation Company as well as the directors of the Eastern Steam Navigation Company. There are also letters from members of the public offering Brunel inventions or ideas to be included in the ship and several letters dating from November 1857 offering Brunel ideas for launching the ship. The volumes begin with Brunel's initial designs for the ship and calculations for the size of the ship and end shortly after the explosion that crippled the ship on its tests voyage of the south coast of England.
DM162/10/12 (Isambard Kingdom Brunel's letterbook for the period 1844-1866 also contains correspondence relating to his work on the SS Great Eastern, some of which duplicates the material in DM1306/11/1 while some of it is unique.
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