Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1806 - 1859 *** Full Name: Isambard Kingdom Brunel *** Occupation: English Mechanical and Civil Engineer *** Date of Birth: Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on April 9th 1806 *** Place of Birth: Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Portsea, Portsmouth, England *** Family background: His father was Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and his mother Sophia Kingdom. His father was French and was working on block-making machinery *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with two older sisters Sophia and Emma *** Education: Isambard Kingdom Brunel attended Dr Morrellís boarding school at eight years of age and at fourteen was sent to the College of Caen in Normandy and on to Lycee Henri-IV in Paris, it was his fatherís wish that he received the best education as he himself had done ***
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 1: Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on April 9th 1806 and during the turn of the 19th century period in history when huge discoveries were being made in science, medical and industrial innovations.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 2: Having completed school he worked several years on a project that created the tunnel under Londonís River Thames as an assistant engineer. The project would be funded by the Thames Tunnel Company and his father was the chief engineer.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 3: During 1865 the East London Railway Company bought the Thames Tunnel and within four years the tunnel became part of the London Underground system.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 4: One of his great achievements was the design of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. Over the River Avon is spanned seven hundred and two foot and around two hundred and forty nine feet above the river itself.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 5: Brunel had put forward four designs and the choice was made by Thomas Telford to use his own design. Such outrage ensued that a new completion was held in which one of Brunelís designs won.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 6: Unfortunately the Queen Square riots cause much trouble for the area and the bridge would not see completion until after Brunel died.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 7: It could be said to be advantageous that Brunel was born into a time when railway engineering was in its infancy.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 8: When the Thames Tunnel was finished Brunel would be appointed as the chief engineer for the Great Western Railway in 1833.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 9: One of the great wonders of Victorian Britain the line ran from Bristol to London and at a later stage to Exeter.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 10: Isambard Kingdom Brunel controversially used a broad gauge of 7 foot for the track stating that it would give a more comfortable ride for passengers as well as increased speed and also the ability to carry heavier freight.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 11: He also incorporated into this project experience and design he had gained from the tunnel building he had done previously.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 12: Brunel was also responsible for the design of Paddington Station in London which opened in 1854.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 13: One of his unsuccessful projects consisted of the atmospheric railway where trains were carried by air pressure.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 14: Another of his successful ventures was with the Great Western Steamship Company. Although initially though a vessel would not be able to carry enough fuel and cargo to make it a cost effective way of transporting goods across the Atlantic but Brunel was convinced after his calculations that he could make it work.Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 17: The Great Western set sail with six hundred long ton of coal, seven passengers and cargo from Avonmouth in Bristol on April 8th 1838. Not only did she arrive in good time, fifteen days and five hours, but she still had one third of her cargo of coal remaining. So successful was this accomplishment the ship not only stayed in service but Brunel was required to design a sister ship.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 15: Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the Great Western and at the time, at two hundred and thirty six feet long with a two hundred and fifty foot keel, she was the longest ship in the world.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 16: Brunel was due to take the maiden voyage but had suffered injuries during a fire aboard the vessel on her return from London after a fitting.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 18: Isambard Kingdom Brunel also became convinced that propeller driven ships would prove far superior to paddle wheel and so design a new vessel, this time built entirely of metal and not wood. The Great Britain launched in 1843 and was considered the first modern ship of her time. She successfully crossed the Atlantic.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Fact 19: Isambard kingdom Brunel died on September 15th 1859 aged fifty three years having suffered a stroke some days earlier. His body was laid to rest in Kensal Green Cemetery.
Influence and Legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel: As part of his great railway project some of the other bridges he built include, Royal Albert Bridge over the River Tamar near Plymouth, Somerset Bridge, the Windsor Railway Bridge and the Maidenhead Railway Bridge. His legacy is vast and still visible today.
Short Facts about Isambard Kingdom Brunel for Kids
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