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The tunnelling shield, or excavating machine designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769- 1849) and used in the construction of the lining of the Thames tunnel. The shield (right) consists of twelve frames, which could be edged forward independently, supporting the side of the tunnel while allowing bricklayers to work from it. A moveable stage enabled building materials to be brought up to the level of the advancing face of the lining. The tunnel, running under the Thames between Rotherhithe and Wapping, was begun by Sir Marc Brunel in 1825 and completed in 1873 after his death. It was designed for foot passengers and later taken over by London Underground.
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