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View of the Great Eastern

When we learn that this great ship is to be six times and 23,000 tons builder's measure; 680 feet long, 83 feet broad; depth from deck to keel, 58 feet; nominal horse-power—screw, 1600 horses; paddles, 1000 horses, which could be worked up to 10,000 horse-power; the draught of water-loaded, 28 feet—light, 18 feet; and that it will carry of first-class passengers 600, second-class passengers 1800—in all 2400—and troops with field equipments 10,000—we look with wonder, and inquire if the builders have not been guilty of similar oversight to that made by the far-famed Robinson Crusoe in the matter of his boat? This, however, has been carefully considered by Mr. I. K. Brunel, whose plan is to place under the vessel two launches 80 feet by 40 feet, at 140 feet apart; the launches will communicate with an inclined plane leading to the river, to which the great ship will be run sideways to the water-mark, and then allowed to float. By this method there will be a portion of the ship (140 feet) left entirely depending on the strength of the construction for support.

SOURCE: The Illustrated London News, May 24, 1856