Friday, July 19, 2013

This Day in History: Jul 19, 1843: Brunel's steamship the SS Great Britain is launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull or screw propeller

File:SS Great Britain by Talbot.jpg

SS Great Britain is a museum ship and former passenger steamship, advanced for her time. She was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 to 1854. She was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company's transatlantic service between Bristol and New York.


 File:SS Great Britain diagram.jpg

While other ships had been built of iron or equipped with a screw propeller, Great Britain was the first to combine these features in a large ocean-going ship. She was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, which she did in 1845, in the time of 14 days.

 File:SS Great Britain engine and gearwheels lateral section.jpg
 File:Model of SS Great Britain's engines.jpg

When launched in 1843, Great Britain was by far the largest vessel afloat. However, her protracted construction and high cost had left her owners in a difficult financial position, and they were forced out of business in 1846 after the ship was stranded by a navigational error.

File:SS Great Britain stranded in Dundrum Bay.jpg


Sold for salvage and repaired, Great Britain carried thousands of immigrants to Australia until converted to sail in 1881. Three years later, she was retired to the Falkland Islands where she was used as a warehouse, quarantine ship and coal hulk until scuttled in 1937.[2]

 File:SS Great Britain with four masts 1853.jpg

 John Penn.jpg

In 1970, Great Britain was returned to the Bristol dry dock where she was built. Now listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, she is an award-winning visitor attraction and museum ship in Bristol Harbour, with 150,000–170,000 visitors annually.

File:SS Great Britain showing air seal for hull.jpg

File:Aboard SS Great Britain - - 407820.jpg

Taken from: [19.07.2013]

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