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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A remarkable man

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the death of probably the greatest engineer of the Victorian period, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. His concepts and ideas were so far in advance of his time that he often had to "invent" and build the tools so that his principal idea could actually be realised. He built the Great Western Railway, the track for which is still in use, the Clifton Suspension bridge - again having to invent the suspension system and the method of construction - and of course, the ss Great Britain, now preserved in Bristol Harbour in the very dock in which she was built.

He was a remarkable man, an achiever of great things, and like many such men, had little regard for his own persoanl safety and by extension, the safety of those around him. He had a job to do and he did it, his ideas are straightforward genius and many of the designs he pioneered have never been bettered, though today they can be achieved more safely and with better and stronger materials.

He died very young, but his legacy is astonishing.

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