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Monday, July 12, 2010

Brunel and the Industrial Revolution

Big Red Propeller (1843), Isambad Kingdom Brunel

Hel's comment on how you can't understand the Industrial Revolution without understanding Brunel got me thinking about what Morris must have thought of Brunel.  To Morris, Brunel must have been an anathema, an agent of the Revolution (and not the right one) relentlessly driving forward the mechanization and industrialization of England.  Brunel's red propeller reminded me of this painting of artist David Mabb (from a previous post) which captures the irony of Morris's antipathy toward the very forces of industrialization that not only allowed his designs to be mass produced but also greatly expanded the upper class able to afford his luxury goods.

Big Red Propeller (2001), David Mabb

The SS Great Britain, gears all still working, moving, turning....

"bridge to engine room"....check out that awesome speaking tube!

ship's "galley" -- a perfect work triangle

first class family cabin with fake well-behaved children

first class dining room