Great Britain

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Great Britain
SS Great Britain.jpg
Ship data
flag United KingdomUnited Kingdom (trade flag) United Kingdom
Shipyard Great Western Steamship Company , Bristol
Launch July 19, 1843
Commissioning July 26, 1845
Whereabouts Museum ship in Bristol
Ship dimensions and crew
98.15 m ( Lüa )
width 15.39 m
Draft Max. 4.9 m
crew 130 men
Machine system
machine 2 × 2-cylinder steam engines
500 hp (368 kW)
propeller 1 × six-leaf
Rigging and rigging
Rigging Square and pitch sails
Number of masts 6th
Transport capacities
Load capacity 3,675 dw
Permitted number of passengers 1st class: 120
2nd class: 132

The Great Britain was the first ship of steel with propeller drive , which the ocean crossing.

The steamship was designed by the designer Brunel and built in the Great Western Dockyards in Bristol . New steam engines were developed especially for this ship with a new drive . On July 26, 1845, she sailed from Liverpool to New York on her maiden voyage . With 120 first-class and 132 second-class passengers , it ushered in a new era in passenger shipping. After the Great Britain in 1846 on a sandbar ran and the owner's shipping company went bankrupt, it was in 1852 as a replica emigrant ship used. 1855-1856 she was used together with the Great Western during the Crimean War as a troop transport . In 1882 it was converted into a windjammer , and the engine was also expanded. During this time, the ship served in coal freight traffic and supplied San Francisco via the route around Cape Horn . After a fire on board, the Great Britain called the Falkland Islands in 1886 . There it was sold and used as a coal hulk . In 1939, the ship's metal was used for emergency repairs on HMS Exeter , which had been damaged in battle with the German warship Admiral Graf Spee .

In 1970 the Great Britain was returned to Bristol to be restored as a museum ship . Today it is a visitor attraction in the original construction dock .


  • Great Britain and Napoleon. Two new steamships with Archimedean propellers . In: Illustrirte Zeitung . No. 21 . J. J. Weber, Leipzig November 18, 1843, p. 332-335 ( ).
  • Robert D. Ballard , Ken Marschall : Lost Liners - From the Titanic to Andrea Doria - the glory and decline of the great luxury liners . Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-453-12905-9 (English: Lost Liners: From the Titanic to the Andrea Doria. The ocean floor reveals its greatest lost ships. Translated by Helmut Gerstberger).

Web links

Commons : Great Britain  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 51 ° 26'57 "  N , 2 ° 36'30"  W.