|Description||A group of 32 letters, mostly addressed to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, offering a variety of inventions and devices for possible use on board the Great Eastern. Amongst the letters are some from the following:|
Michael Burke (to Sir John Brunell (!)): 'Enclosed is a simple plan by which the adjustment of iron ships' compasses may be affected without the trouble of swinging the ship as at present adopted', 7 August 1857;
William Day and Co. (to Claxton): 'We beg to inform you that we have succeeded in effectually preventing the corrosion of the inside bilge bottom-plates and rivet-heads of iron ships'. 7 August 1856;
The Rev. Septimus Jones (incumbent of St Peter's Chapel, Zubee CE): 'I take the liberty of troubling you with a suggestion relative to the steering of large steam vessels through crowded rivers &c'. 7 August 1857;
R. Kusel (tobacconist of Commercial Rd. East): Asking Isambard Kingdom Brunel to look at his new paddle wheel for steamers, 'I flatter myself that it will create a new era in steam navigation. 5 February 1858;
W. Riddle: 'I have taken a patent for keeping steam cylinders hot by gas flame instead of a steam jacket. With Isambard Kingdom Brunel's answer scrawled, 'Mr Brunel really cannot offer an opinion upon it. The idea may be good but whether worth patenting is quite another thing', 22 March 1858;
William White (of Williamstown, Australia): 'Being desirous of promoting the maritime interests in Melbourne Victoria and hoping to see your Great Eastern in our Bay at some future day my attention has been turned to the design of a floating dock capable of docking her', 18 May 1857.