Isambard Kingdom BRUNEL by L.T.C. Rolt book review

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He’s the man who built the railroads from London to Bristol, and then built massive steam powered ships from Bristol to New York, the Great Western, and LEVIATHAN.

It killed the man. It made the man. It is the man. Brunel.

Engineering skills with timber. Most of his structures have been replaced with “cast iron”.

This begs the question.

How have our Fathers deceived us?

A very fascinating book about railroad engineer, shipbuilder, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, his bridges and ships allegedly dawned the industrial age, and now the nightmare of our technological enslavement.

Brunel. He’s the man with the plan, involving committees and tenders with creditors, contracts, and companies. The engineer. History Brunel.

The book ends with his mightiest endevour; The massive, steam powered, screw and paddle driven LEVIATHAN, The Great Western.

Brunel built the first steam powered ship to conquer the Atlantic. First in steam to the New World, History Brunel.

Many scoffers said a ship could not hold enough coal to steam all the way to America. Brunel took the square of the surface, times the hypotenuse of the ship’s hold, and confirmed with mathematics, the feat could well and truly be accomplished, provided with enough capital, he drew up the largest machinery of the day. History Brunel.


During initial sea trials of his GREAT WESTERN, one of the boilers was sealed with stopcock (probable saboteur), the boiler exploded, boiling alive some of the crew, capping off the marvelous tale of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. I.K.B.

Thank you Arthur C. Clarke for your mention of this book in The Fountains of Paradise.

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