The SS Great Eastern was a steam ship developed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The SS Great Eastern was launched in 1858, it was the largest ship ever build. Its transport capacity was over 4,000 passengers and could sail around the world with out refueling. For several years the Great Eastern served as a passenger liner between Britain and North America before being converted to a cable-laying ship and laying the first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866.
SS Great Eastern History:
In 1852, Isambard Kingdom Brunel made a preliminary sketch of Great Eastern steamship in his jornal: “600 ft x 65 ft x 30 ft” (180 m x 20 m x 9.1 m). These dimensions were more then six times larger than any ship to date. The idea was challenging but was not out of manufacturing reach ,proving economically beneficial in later years. Brunel realised that the ship would need more than one propulsion system; since twin screws were still very much experimental, he settled on a combination of a single screw and paddle wheels, with auxiliary sail power.
Brunel showed his idea to John Scott Russell, a great experienced ship builder and naval architect of the time and whom he had first met at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Scott Russell examined Brunel’s plan and made his own calculations as to the ship’s feasibility. He calculated that it would have a displacement of 20,000 tons and would require 8,500 horsepower (6,300 kW) to achieve 14 knots (26 km/h), but believed it was possible.
SS Great Eastern Cable Laying:
The SS Great Eastern needed conversion work cable laying, removal of funnel no. 4 including boilers and as well as great number of the passenger rooms. Captain Sir James Anderson laid over 4,200 kilometers (2,600 mi) of the 1865 transatlantic telegraph cable. From 1866 to 1878 the ship laid over 48,000 kilometers (30,000 mi) of submarine telegraph cable.
The first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid with great difficulty and failed after only a short time. A month after the first telegram, in September 1858 , connection on thru the transatlantic telegraph cable stopped. Over the next few years the Great Easter made voyages laying 75 shorter underwater telegraph lines, including trans-Mediterranean (1500 km). In 1865 it made a new attempt at laying the transatlantic cable.
In 1865 the ship sailed from the coast of Ireland , laying the cable along the bottom, but first to the second, then on the seventh day of the voyage recorded damage insulation wires, made of hard and brittle steel, breaking, bending and broke through the insulating sheath. We had to pick them up and repair. Aug. 2 cable (it was already laid 1,968 km) broke off and went to the bottom. All attempts to raise him were in vain.
SS Great Eastern And Jules Verne:
Giant ship interested famous French writer Jules Verne, who made a special trip to England to take on the “Great Eastern” crossing the Atlantic. This journey Jules Verne ever wrote a small novel called “floating city.” With delight Jules Verne wrote about his first impressions: After graduating from the inspection of the ship, Jules Verne came to the conclusion that “… it is not a ship, but a floating city of the county, separated from British soil, so we had sailed across the ocean, hit the American continent. “
The SS Great Eastern General characteristics:
- Type: Steam Passenger Cable layer
- Displacement: 32,160 tons
- Length: 692 ft (211 m)
- Beam: 82 ft (25 m)
- Draught: 4.6 m (9.2 m FL)
- Power Plant: 4 steam boiler (8,000 hp total)
- Propulsion: Two wheel paddles, 6 beam sail, propeller
- Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)