When launched by Prince Albert in 1843 she was the biggest ship in the world, At the time she was the world's first ocean liner and completed her first trip to New York in 1845 in 14 days and 21 hours.
Brunel had designed the ship to be run chiefly by steam but but she could also use her sails.Between 1852 and 1875 she undertook the role of Emigrant Steam Clipper taking families to a new life in Australia. !856 saw SS Great Britain carry troops to fight in the Crimea; in 1861 she carried the first England cricket team to Australia.
In 1882 her role changed again as she was converted to carry cargo, her engine and funnel were removed. With three tall masts and broad square sails she became a 'windjammer' carrying coal to San Fransico.
Badly damaged by storms rounding Cape Horn in 1886 she took shelter in the Falkland Islands where she was used as a floating warehouse for coal and wood. Her working life ended in 1933. In 1937 holes were made in her hull and she was scuttled in a remote windswept bay.
If you visit the restored ship in its Bristol dry dock you can see the 'broken' state of the great ship below the 'waterline.'
|SS Great Britain Scuttling Holes|
SS Great Britian - c1968 'broken' but rescued
The ship came back to England in 1970 on a pontoon and now takes centre stage on Bristol's Historic Quay.
|SS Great Britain - Bristol 2011|
A long way from that Falkland's windswept cove.
For more broken artifacts don't forget to look in on Carmi's thematic-photographic-205