BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 7893

Isambard Kingdom Brunel: building of the Great Eastern (audio)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel: building of the Great Eastern (audio)
Key Info
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel: building of the Great Eastern (audio)
  • Duration: 05:46
  • A mini-drama about the building of the ship The Great Eastern by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who called it his 'Great Babe'. This was to be the biggest of all the ships Brunel built and would be able to sail around the world without needing to be refuelled. To the consternation of the shipbuilder, John Russell, Brunel insisted on launching the ship sideways. After some initial problems, the ship was officially launched and was soon sailing regularly across the Atlantic. During one crossing to New York, the ship struck a rock and suffered a huge gash in one side. But instead of taking on water and sinking, the ship stayed afloat, to the amazement of the crew. Brunel had designed the ship with a double hull and only the outer hull had been damaged, demonstrating his extraordinary expertise in ship design.
  • Subject:



    Famous People

  • Keywords: Victorian era, technology, engineering, Great Eastern, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Great Babe, inventions, transport, steam ships, ship design, school radio, schoolradio
Ideas for use in class
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.