Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Three names. Three people in one. Born in Portsmouth on 9 April 1806, there was Brunel the great engineer, who would habitually throw out the rule book of tradition and established practice, and start again with a blank sheet of paper, taking the technology of the day to its limits and then going another mile.Then there was Brunel the visionary, who knew that transport technology had the power to change the world, and that he had the ability to deliver those changes. Finally, there was Brunel the artist who rarely saw technology as just functional, and strove to entwine the fruits of the Industrial Revolution with the elegance and grace of the neo-classical painter. His bridges, tunnels and railway infrastructure have entered a third century of regular use, and the beauty of their design and structure has rarely been equalled. The three decades, from the 1830s to the 1850s, saw an explosion of technical excellence, and it was Brunel who in so many cases lit the blue touch paper. He did not always get it right first time, and it was left to others to reap the fruits of his many labours. Nevertheless, his actions fast-forwarded the march of progress by several decades.
This biography of Brunel by his son covers: his early life; the Clifton suspension bridge; his work on the Great Western Railway and the South Devon Railway; railway bridges and viaducts; his work on steam navigation and steam-ships; docks and pier works; miscellaneous works; his professional opinions and practice, and his private life.
Originally published in 1976, this book by a group of engineers, each distinguished for work in their field, describes the achievements of I. K. Brunel, the giant among nineteenth-century engineers, whose works include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and three famous ships, Great Western, Great Britain and Great Eastern.
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.