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Isambard Kingdom Brunel From around 1760 till 1860the work and innovation of a few revolutionary engineers made possible the social and economic change in Britain that is know known as The Industrial Revolution Isambard Kingdom Brunel is possibly the most remembered of this small but very significant group and many of his designs and projects have survived to the present day and there are some that are still in use Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Portsea on 9th April 1806 to an English mother nee Kingdom and a French father His father Sir Marc Brunel was a French monarchist whose continuing residence in revolutionary France had made life there somewhat uncomfortable Probably due to his familys background in engineering Isambard had the luxury of having a sound grounding in the basics of engineering before he began working for his father In 1818 sombards father designed a tunnelling shield that allowed work to be done on the excavation of the tunnel without the fear of a collapse This lead to the founding of a company called the Thames Tunnelling Company and this was the beginning of the project known as the Thames Tunnel At the tender age of 20 Isambard was put in charge of this 18 year project but unfortunately the operation suffered 2 major disasters and in the 2nd flooding of the tunnel Isambard himself was nearly drowned However this didnt seem to discourage Isambard and he continued to peruse his career in engineering and at the age of 26 he was offered a job as an engineer at the newly formed Great Western Railways His work on the line that linked London to Bristol helped to establish Brunel as one of the worlds leading engineers Impressive achievements on the route included the viaducts at Hanwell and Chippenham the Maidenhead Bridge the Box Tunnel and the Bristol Temple Meads Station Probably due to his now impressive record Brunel was able to persuade
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