Caught Our Eyes: An Engineering Marvel

This item from the Popular Graphic Arts collection recently caught the eye of Phil Michel,  Digital Conversion Coordinator in the Prints & Photographs Division.

The iron steam ship "Great Eastern" 22,500 tons: constructed under the direction of I.K. Brunel, F.R.S. -- D.C.L. commanded by Capt. William Harrison. Print by Currier & Ives, copyrighted 1858.

The iron steam ship “Great Eastern” 22,500 tons: constructed under the direction of I.K. Brunel, F.R.S. — D.C.L. commanded by Capt. William Harrison. Print by Currier & Ives, copyrighted 1858. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.00795

Phil commented, “Early engineering marvels often catch my eye. Some of the ships, buildings, bridges, tunnels, etc., that were built in the industrial age were just phenomenal in their scale. I also like the combination of technologies…sailing masts and sidewheels.”

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One Comment

  1. Carl Fleischhauer
    February 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for the nifty pointer to this print! Worth saying that the engineer (not just ships!) Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a major figure in the English industrial revolution; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isambard_Kingdom_Brunel. And speaking of photographs, the Wikipedia article reproduces Robert Howlett’s marvelous 1857 portrait of Brunel standing in front of a massive anchor chain. This image turns up in a number of books on the history of photography and (I learn from another Wikipedia article) “was part of a commission by The Times (or Illustrated Times) to document the construction of the world’s largest steamship, the SS Great Eastern. So this fact brings us neatly back to this very blog!

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