SS Great Eastern
was an iron built sailing / steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
At the time of her launch, in 1858, she was the largest ship ever built with the capacity to carry 4000 passengers
from England to Australia without refuelling.
Brunel died shortly after her maiden voyage.
This reconstruction is cut through the central section of the deck showing the ‘Rocking Donkey’ steam engines used to power two huge
17 meter diameter paddle wheels. These impressive engines were visable through a glazed roof at deck level.
Boilers can be seen down at the keel level whilst luxurious lounges and cabins occupied the upper decks.
Besides a second engine room powering propellers at the stern, every remaining nook and cranny was used to store coal.
The image has found a permanent home in the Brunel Museum “Being Brunel” in Bristol.