The great Eastern named: The Leviatham.
Tinted lithograph. Printed area: 260 x 375mm (10¼ x 14¾"). Faint vertical crease.
The 'Great Eastern' steam ship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and built by Scott Russell & Co.Ltd, London (screw engines by James Watt & Co.Ltd, Birmingham), five funnels, six masts, iron construction, paddle and screw propulsion and a speed of 12 knots. Work started on the ship, which at first was going to be called the Leviathan, in 1854. There were many problems in building the ship and in trying to launch it, and the ship, now renamed the Great Eastern, was not finally afloat until January 1858. She was cheered on her way by enormous crowds as she travelled down river towards the sea. The public impact of the launching of the 'Great Eastern' was enormous and the event was widely celebrated in the press. During sea trials on 9th September 1859 the Great Eastern's heaters exploded, killing six firemen and devestating the grand saloon. The explosion would have sunk a lesser ship, but the Great Eastern survived. Brunel's new construction methods, dividing the ship up into compartments with watertight bulkheads, limited the extent of the damage. However, the bad news hastened the death of Brunel, who passed away on 15th September. In 1864, the Great Eastern was sold for a fraction of its cost to a cable laying company. The time that the ship spent laying cables for the new telegraph system was its most successful. It was used to lay the first telegraph cable to America. The Great Eastern was finally broken up in 1888.
[Ref: 33628] £230.00