Great Eastern Model Ship

Reference Number:

1259 - PSM


Dimensions L x H x W 21 × 126 × 86 cm
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Great Eastern Model Ship

The SS Great Eastern was the largest ship ever built when it was launched in 1858. She had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the world without the need to refuel. It was an iron sailing steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and built on the river Thames, at Millwall, by J. Scott Russell & Co.

The Great Eastern: a brief overview

The inspiration for the majestic ship came from the Great Exhibition of 1851 which showcased the wealth and natural resources of America to the world. Scores of people from England were eager to emigrate to America, the land of opportunities. Brunel realised the scope of a ship that was built with the chief purpose to carry these emigrants. He made the sketch of a steamship that measured 600ft ×65ft×30ft. This was a measurement that was 6 times larger in volume than any ship that was operational at the time.

This ship would not only be fast but also economically viable. This was because it would require a smaller crew to manage than that of the one required for many smaller ships that made up for equivalent tonnage. A combination of single screw and paddle wheels were used for the propulsion system of the ship with auxiliary sail power. A ship this size would naturally require more propulsion system than just one. Brunel consulted an experienced naval architect and ship builder John Scott Russell with his idea whom he met at the Great Exhibition itself. Russell estimated that a ship like this would need to displace 20,000 tonnes and require 8,500 horsepower in order to achieve a speed of 14 knots.

Together they decided to approach the directors of the Eastern Steam Navigation Company. A company that was keen on cashing in on the emigration and trade and commerce that took place between Great Britain and America. The ship was finally launched on January 31, 1858 after a few, failed, previous attempts. It is a delight to present intricately done up, from scratch, scale models of this majestic ship. With a history as rich as the Great Eastern’s, it would find a place of pride among the collections of any ship model enthusiast and naval history buffs alike. Also, there are more than 500 other equally exquisitely handcrafted models of other sea vessels that can be ordered through our website.

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