ANN RONAN PICTURE LIBRARY / HERITAGE IMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANN RONAN PICTURE LIBRARY / HERITAGE IMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Construction of the Thames Tunnel, London, 1825-1843. Section of Marc Isambard Brunel's tunnel showing men at work in the tunnelling shield (right) while others take away spoil. The picture also shows the construction of the arched masonry lining using Roman cement behind the shield. The shield, which allowed 12 men to excavate at the tunnel face simultaneously, was patented by Brunel in 1818. The Thames Tunnel, connecting Wapping and Rotherhithe, was the first underwater tunnel in the world. Completed as a foot tunnel in 1843, it was converted to a railway tunnel for the East London Railway in the 1860s. Constructed in 1825-1843, it is still used by the London Underground today. Isambard Kingdom Brunel acted as site engineer.
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