Spar deck plan of SS 'Great Eastern' (1858)

Spar deck plan of SS 'Great Eastern' (1858)


2290 x 695 mm

Plate 96, Vol. 3 of John Scott Russell's 'The Modern System of Naval Architecture'

SS 'Great Eastern', launched in 1858, was the third and last of Brunel's major shipbuilding projects. It was built at the London yard of John Scott Russell and Company in Millwall and was initially known as the 'Leviathan'. There were many problems in both building and launching the ship and it was not afloat until January 1858 when it was renamed the 'Great Eastern'. The project bankrupted Russell and Brunel suffered a stroke and died soon afterwards under the strain of the venture. The public impact of the launch was enormous, she was cheered by huge crowds and praised in the press. However, even during her trials she had a major setback when a heater attached to the paddle engine boilers exploded and killed six firemen. The ship only survived because Brunel's new construction method of dividing a ship up into compartments with watertight bulkheads limited the extent of the damage. Brunel died very soon after hearing of this disaster.

Object number: SRUB0007 

Date: 1865

Original dimensions: 695 mm x 2290 mm

  • Full-colour art print
  • Reproduced at the same size and scale of the original plan with no border.
  • Image reference: J8701

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