The SS Great Eastern was an iron sailing steam ship which had been designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and made by Naval architect John Scott Russel in 1958. It was the largest ship at that time and was surpassed in length only in 1899 and in tonnage in only 1901. She was the final project of Brunel and he usually referred to her as the “Great Babe”. This ship is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.
The ship was launched on January 31, 1958 after many technical difficulties. The earlier name given to it was the SS Leviathan but due to high costs and delays, it was sold to the Great Eastern Ship Company and renamed. The maiden viyage of the ship started on June 17, 1958 which was eleven days long, on the Southampton-New York run.
During its life, the ship had two major accidents but luckily no one was killed in the accidents. One accident happened in December 1961 when the main rudder shaft of the ship broke down. An engineer Hamilton Towle saved the ship by using some device and made a claim for money later on. The second accident happened with a roc k needle which was uncharted, later named Great Eastern Rock. The ship did not sink however and managed to get to New York the next day. The end of the ship was not great and it was pulled apart in 1889-1890 which took 18 months to do so.