, often regarded as a genius was born into an age of iron and industry. By the
time he was twenty-four in 1830 Brunel was an accomplished engineer. His imagination
grabbed the minds of wealthy backers and among his many ideas he created the world's
first large iron steamship.
SS Great Britain
first great ship with a propeller powered by a steam engine was launched in Bristol
on July 19th 1839. The ship's life swung between success and failure. Eventually
after changes including the removal of the steam engine, conversion to sail power
and from passenger carrying to being fully cargo, the 'Britain' was struck by
a gale near the southern tip of South America.
May 1886 the ship was disabled and sought shelter in the Falkland Islands / Islas
Malvinas. From 1886 to 1936 the hull served as a coal and wool store in the island's
main harbour. By 1937 the end was in sight and on April 12th the hulk was towed
about 5.6 km /3.5 miles and beached in Sparrow Cove. Three huge masts and a yard
[spar] remained on the rusting iron hull - 92m / 322 feet long.