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Isambard Kingdom Brunel sketch: railway carriage and Saltash Bridge, c1849-1852

Isambard Kingdom Brunel sketch: railway carriage and Saltash Bridge, c1849-1852


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Isambard Kingdom Brunel sketch: railway carriage and Saltash Bridge, c1849-1852

Two sketches by Brunel - Great Western Railway eight wheel carriage: brief and very faint pencil sketch showing several carriages and position of wheels. Side elevation of Saltash Bridge (Royal Albert Bridge near Plymouth) showing arches and central arch, with columns down into water; and ship with sails going under central arch. This maybe the earliest sketch of the Saltash Bridge.
Image used by Courtesy of the Brunel Institute - a collaboration of the SS Great Britain Trust and the University of Bristol

Media ID 24287224

© University of Bristol / SS Great Britain Trust

Great Western Railway Isambard Kingdom Brunel Victorians Royal Albert Bridge Saltash Bridge


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases two remarkable sketches by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The first sketch depicts a Great Western Railway eight-wheel carriage, meticulously drawn with brief and faint pencil strokes. It offers a glimpse into Brunel's visionary mind, revealing the intricate details of several carriages and their wheel positions. The second sketch unveils an iconic landmark that stands as a testament to Brunel's engineering prowess - the Saltash Bridge, also known as the Royal Albert Bridge near Plymouth. This side elevation drawing presents the bridge in all its grandeur, showcasing its majestic arches and central arch towering above the water below. Notably, this may be one of the earliest depictions of this architectural marvel. The image serves as a window into Victorian-era innovation and progress. It transports us back to a time when Brunel's revolutionary designs were shaping transportation infrastructure across Britain. The inclusion of a ship sailing under the central arch adds depth to the scene, emphasizing both Brunel's mastery in bridging land and water and his vision for seamless connectivity. Courtesy of the esteemed collaboration between SS Great Britain Trust and University of Bristol's Brunel Institute, this print allows us to appreciate these historical sketches up close. It is an invaluable piece that pays tribute to Isambard Kingdom Brunel's enduring legacy in railway engineering and his significant contributions during an era defined by progress and ingenuity.

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