The Iron Ship: The History and Significance of Brunel’s Great Britain by Ewan Corlett

The Iron Ship: The History and Significance of Brunel’s Great Britain by Ewan Corlett soon to be presented for sale on the wonderful BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: New York: Arco Publishing Company, Inc., 1975, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Graphs; Colour Plates; Black & White Drawings; Diagrams; Maps; Tables;

From the cover: In maritime history, the transition from sailing vessel to power-driven ships was the most profound change in thousands of years. This definitive book teils the story of the S. S. Great Britain, the first ship to be built entirely of metal and the first to be screw-driven. It was designed by that most brilliant of all engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, to recapture supremacy for Britain on the Atlantic trade route. When launched in 1843 it was twice the tonnage of any previous ship and its revolutionary design heralded a complete break with the limitations of traditional timber construction. Having triumphantly disproved the pundits who thought she would sink on her maiden voyage, the Great Britain caused a sensation wherever she docked Bristol, Liverpool, London and New York and thousands of visitors flocked to visit her, among them Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who were especially fascinated with the huge engines. On the fifth voyage disaster struck when the ship ran aground in Dundrum Bay. Once repaired, she took over the Australian route for this was the era of the Gold Rush and later she served as a troopship in the Crimean War and then during the Indian Mutiny. After many eventful voyages she finally came to rest in 1886 in the Falkland Islands, where she was used as a hulk for storing coal and wool. Fifty years later she was left to rot, deserted and forgotten in Sparrow Cove, until, that is, the author of the book, Dr Ewan Corlett, wrote in 1967 to The Times about her sad plight. As a result, a committee was then formed to bring her back for restoration to the Bristol Dock from which she was launched over a Century before. The problems of the salvage operations are described in depth, as is the intriguing history of the ship; and by comparison with other contemporary ventures in iron ship-building Dr Corlett has been able to assess the key role played by the Great Britain in the history of modern shipping.

Good+ in Good+ Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with fading to the foot of the upper panel resulting in a peculiar offset to the upper boards. Leans slightly. Text complete, clean and tight.

Brown boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 253 pages. Index. 10″ x 8″.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I beguile you with my offerings from hither or maybe further, hand picked, books in my Transport Nautical catalogue?


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