Tag: Marc Isambard Brunel

A Remarkable Father-Son Team


Isambard Kingdom Brunel is probably the most famous engineer of the nineteenth century. He may have been the best.  Or not. Another lesser-known Brunel is in the running for that title; his father, Marc Isambard Brunel is.

“The Brunels, Father and Son,” by Anthony Burton, is a joint biography of two remarkable men. Burton does a compare-and-contrast on the pair. He concludes it is hard to say who was better.

Isambard Kingdom was best known for building the Great Western Railroad (with its six-foot gauge) and three pioneer steamships, Great Western, Great Britain, and Great Eastern.  Marc Isambard’s signature accomplishment was the Thames Tunnel,  which baffled earlier engineers. He is also known for pioneering mass-production techniques, most notably blocks and army boots.