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The first large iron clad propeller driven vessel, at the time the largest ship ever constructed. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Its keel was laid in 1832, in the Great Western Dry-dock, where it lies today. The completed SS Great Britain was towed from the dry-dock into Bristol Harbour in 1843. Following two years of fitting out and then sea trials, the SS Great Britain's early years were spent crossing the Atlantic, in as little as 12 days returning with cargoes such as cotton.
Many years were then spent making non stop passages to Australia, using the trade wind routes on the circumnavigation, Up to 730 emigrants carried on the outward journey.Her days as a passenger carrying ship ended in 1876, then becoming a coalier running coal to the West Coast of America. Forced to seek shelter in the Falklands, where she remained until 1970 when the hulk was brought back on a barge to the very same dry dock she was built in. An ambition plan to restore to her former glory began.
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