Maiden Voyage of SS Great Western

BOOK BRISTOL HOTELS

History on 8th April


Winchester Cathedral Dedicated

The ‘Entente Cordiale’ is signed by Britain and France

Maiden Voyage of SS Great Western

Bristol, Bristol The 8th of April 1838 AD

In its day The Great Western, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel , was as epoch making as Concorde a century and a half later, for it cut the journey time across the Atlantic in half. The steam-powered ship which left Bristol on April 8 1838 took a mere 15 days to cross the ocean. Not only was that far quicker than her sailing ship rivals, but it also was more controlled, allowing the captain and navigator rather than wind and waves to choose the route.
Brunel was doubly visionary in that his steamship was regarded by the great engineer as an extension of his Great Western Railway from London to Bristol: he was building that holy grail of planners, an integrated transport system.
The oaken ship commissioned as a first vessel by Thomas Guppy of the Great Western Steamship Company was driven by two paddle-wheels rather than propeller, but already looked forward to the ocean liners of the future with a crew member for every two of her 128 first class passengers bound for New York. It is no exaggeration to say that SS Great Western began or at the very least accelerated changes in the world’s geography – and its future political and social development.

More famous dates here

4674 views since 8th April 2010

Brit Quote:
Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. - Robert Browning
More Quotes

On this day:
Battle of Edgehill - 1642, First Parliament of Great Britain - 1707, War of Jenkins’ Ear Begins - 1739, First British-Made Ford Car - 1911, Battle of El Alamein - 1942
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages