£20 Share. black on blue paper. No 29253. Founded 1851 with the plan of exploiting the increase in trade and emigration to America. To make this plan viable, they needed a subsidy in the form of a mail contract from the British General Post Office. The contract was however awarded to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. This left them in the position of having a company without a purpose. Then Isambard K. Brunel came along... He proposed to the company a gigantic iron sailing steam ship design, which according to Brunel, should be able to compete with the fast clippers that currently dominated the transatlantic route. The company agreed, and Brunel started the construction of the 211m long ship for the Eastern Steam Navigation Co. At the time of its launch in 1858, the SS Great Eastern was by far the largest ship ever built. It could carry 4,000 passengers around the world without refueling. It was not surpassed until 1899 (by the RMS Oceanic)! She plied for several years as a passenger liner between Britain and America before being converted to a cable-laying ship and laying the first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866. She finished her life as a floating music hall in Liverpool.
Themes: SHIPPING, TELECOMMUNICATION
GREAT BRITAIN, USA
Date: 2 October 1851
Startprice: € 50