Ref NoDM162/4
TitleLetters from Bradford Leslie to Isambard Kingdom Brunel
DescriptionAfter receiving a classical education at Mercers' School, London, Leslie, at the age of sixteen, was apprenticed for five years to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who waived his usual fee of £1000 in return for one or two paintings by Charles Leslie. Bradford Leslie was an apt pupil and rapidly became a good engineer—a process facilitated, he believed, by his previous drudgery at Greek and Latin. In 1851 while still apprenticed to Brunel, Leslie was sent as an assistant engineer to the construction of the bridge over the Wye at Chepstow. Work on further Brunel projects followed: the Dock branch of the Gloucester and Dean Forest Railway; resident engineer at the famous bridge over the Tamar at Saltash where he had charge of the sinking—using compressed air—of the large caisson for the central pier; construction for the Victoria Railways in Australia including the Stoney Creek and Saltwater River bridges; superintendence of the heavy forgings for Brunel's Great Eastern steamship, and assistance at its launch in January 1858. (Dictionary of National Biography).
Extent32 letters
Access ConditionsSome items are fragile and surrogates may be provided to avoid damage.
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