Isambard Brunel

The life of Isambard Brunel


Isambard Brunel was born on April 9, 1806 in Portsmouth. He was the only boy child and had 2 sisters. He was mostly educated in England but his parents sent him to France to learn there. His parents were then thrown in debtors jail for the debt they had. This caused Brunel to return to Britain. His parents were released once they saw the penitential his father had for building and was given the job to build Thames Tunnel. Brunel joins his father to help work. this would be their first and last job together. little did he know he would become one of the greatest engineers!


One day while working on the tunnel there is a flood of sewage water and six men are swept to their deaths. Brunel was almost one of them if it hadn't been for his assistant who dragged his unconscious body out of the water. this brings work on the Thames tunnel to a halt for a while, but he was lucky to be alive! But this would not put him out of work.
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a new job

while Brunel was recovering from the tunnel flood accident he heard of a race to design a bridge. of course, he entered with the Clifton Suspension Bridge design. Brunel's Design won the race and they began work. at the time the time it is completed it is the longest bridge in the world!

Other builds by Brunel

Brunel also made many other bridges and tunnels like: the Maidenhead bridge, the box tunnel, Bristol temple and others. he also created some boats. He created the Great Western which was the longest ship in the world at that point in time. He was also responsible for rebuilding many major docks in Britain. Brunel also introduced the Broad gauge to Britain though no one thought it was a good idea at the time. He changed the engineering world as we know it.


Brunel was married to Mary Elisabeth on July 5, 1836. they had 3 children. there names were: Isambard Brunel Jr., Henry Marc Brunel, and Florence Mary Brunel. His son is the first to walk with his father through the Thames tunnel.

Isambard Brunel's death

Brunel had a massive stroke and sadly passed on 10 days later on September 15, 1859. The cause of the stroke was probably caused by him being a really heavy smoker as seen in most of his pictures. he was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London just like his father was.