Brunel’s Great Western Steamship

by Helen Doe

The Great Western is the least known of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s three ships, being overs had owed by the later careers of the Great Britain and the Great Eastern.

However, the Great Western was the first great success, confounding the critics to be the fastest ship to steam continuously across the Atlantic. By 1826s team ships were crossing the English Channel, operating on lakes, rivers and along coasts, but long distance continuous steam travel was an unrealised ambition, experts said a ship simply couldn’t carry the necessary fuel to complete such a long journey.

Brunel was convinced otherwise, and ash is Great Western Railway continued to be built from London to Bristol he saw it as the next stage in a steam journey that linked London and New York. The ship’s first voyage made head line news in both capitals particularly as it was involved in a race with an American-owned steam ship, Sirius. The maiden voyage was a triumph heralded by all spectators and its success in providing a regulars team passage across the Atlantic.

This is an excellent book and I would very highly recommend it.


Published by:


Amberley Publications,

The Hill, Merrywalks, Stroud, Glos



Hardback: 234mm x 156mm, 304pp illustrated


Price: £20


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