BRUNEL, Isambard Kingdom, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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BRUNEL, Isambard Kingdom (1806-1859). Civil Engineer.
Autograph Letter Signed to Mrs Glennie, 1 page 4to, no place, 14 June 1839. Expressing delight at the news that Glennie is improving, and mentioning that he had been prevented from leaving town 'by an accident last evening from the effects of which I feel a little stiff'.
After the disastrous flooding of the Thames Tunnel on 12 January 1828, in which Brunel had nearly lost his life, it was another seven years before work was able to proceed fully once more. Although Brunel's father had superintended the work of clearing the tunnel there were insufficient funds for the work to go on. When Brunel had sufficiently recovered from the injuries sustained in the inundation, and the subsequent long illness, he spent much his time and energies working on the gas engine, an idea first conceived by his father but doomed to be abandoned after ten years' work.
The letter evidently refers to his personal assistant William Glennie (1797-1856), who was resident engineer on the Box Tunnel and the Saltash Bridge, two of Brunel's greatest engineering achievements. His wife, Elizabeth Catherine, née Barker, was a granddaughter of William Bligh of the Bounty.
[No: 21268]

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