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The famous portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), British civil engineer and ship designer. Brunel showed an early talent for drawing and geometry. In 1825 he helped his father to construct the first tunnel under the Thames in London, now used by London Underground. In 1830 he won the competition for a design for the Clifton Suspension Bridge at Bristol, his first independent work. In 1833 he was appointed engineer of the Great Western Railway. He later designed huge steam ships capable of crossing the Atlantic. The first, the Great Western of 1838, was built of oak: the later Great Britain and Great Eastern were steel-hulled.
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