Antiqua Print Gallery SS Great Eastern
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SS Great Eastern

The SS Great Eastern was an iron sailing steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. She was the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the world without refueling. Her length of 692 feet (211 m) was only surpassed in 1899 by the 705 feet (215 m) 17,274 gross ton RMS Oceanic, and her gross tonnage of 18,915 was only surpassed in 1901 by the 700 feet (210 m) and 21,035 gross ton RMS Celtic. Brunel knew her affectionately as the "Great Babe". He died in 1859 shortly after her ill-fated maiden voyage.

Cable laying


Great Eastern with four funnels

The conversion work for the Great Eastern's new role consisted in the removal of funnel no. 4 and some boilers as well as great parts of the passenger rooms and saloons to give way for open top tanks for taking up the coiled cable. Under Sir James Anderson she laid 4,200 km (2,600 statute miles) of the 1865 transatlantic telegraph cable. Under Captains Anderson and then Robert Halpin, from 1866 to 1878 the ship laid over 48,000 km (26,000 nautical miles) of submarine telegraph cable including from Brest, France to Saint Pierre and Miquelon in 1869, and from Aden to Bombay in 1869 and 1870

(Source Wikipedia)