Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Engineer
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Engineer

When did he live? 他生活在什么时代?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on 9 April 1806. He died on 15 September 1859.
伊桑巴德•金德姆•布鲁内尔 于1806年4月9日出生,1859年9月15日逝世。

Why is he famous? 他为什么出名?

Brunel was the most famous engineer of Britain’s industrial revolution. His work on railways and bridges changed the UK’s transport system.
布鲁内尔是英国工业革命最有名望的工程师。他主持修建的铁路和桥梁,改变了英国的交通运输系统

Arguably Brunel’s most well-known achievement was developing the Great Western Line leading up the west coast of the UK, which connected an area of the country previously not on the railway map.
他最为人所知的成就(虽然尚有争议)是修建了大西部铁路,该铁路直通英国西海岸,这之前,这片地区从未有过铁路。

He built numerous bridges, and the first tunnel beneath a navigable river.
他修建了无数桥梁,并且修建了第一条运河隧道。

He also designed the first propeller-run boat to cross the Atlantic, because he wanted to get trains to run to America.
他也制造了第一艘横跨大西洋的螺旋桨蒸汽船,因为他想要让火车直通美国。

Brunel also, vitally, set the standard railway gauge, meaning trains all over the UK began running on the same tracks.
布鲁内尔还设立了标准铁道尺寸,这一点至关重要,这使全英国的火车可以在同一条铁轨上行驶。

Wharncliffe Viaduct, by J.W. Petrie
Wharncliffe Viaduct, by J.W. Petrie

What was his mark on history? 他的历史功绩是什么?

Brunel’s work can still be seen all over Britain: there are numerous bridges across the country designed by him and still in working order, and the Great Western Line remains one of the UK’s most important railways systems.
布鲁内尔的杰作在英国仍然随处可见:无数由他设计的桥梁仍在使用。大西部铁路仍然是英国最重要的铁路线。

His idea of expanding Britain’s transport links to other countries and continents was one of the catalysts for modern international transport.
他要使英国的运输线与其他国家,甚至是大洲相连的野心,催生了现代国际运输。

In 2002 the BBC had a vote for the greatest Britons in history. Brunel finished second. Although well-known in the UK, Brunel’s name was promoted by Sheffield University, helping his achievements become more famous.
在2002年英国广播公司举办的”历史上最伟大的英国人“投票中,布鲁内尔排名第二。尽管在英国赫赫有名,布鲁内尔的名声,借由谢菲尔德大学的宣传,更加为世人所知。

Brunel, by John Horsley
Brunel, by John Horsley

Notes 笔记

Brunel’s father was also an engineer, albeit one who struggled for money. Brunel helped on his father’s attempt at building the Thames tunnel. His father’s idea of a tunnel shield to protect workers (after a fatal accident) became important in tunnel building. Isambard would later take over the project.
布鲁内尔的父亲也是工程师,却常常为了生计发愁。布鲁内尔帮助父亲建造泰晤士隧道。在一次致命的事故后,他父亲想出了通过修建隧道防护所来保护工人,这成了隧道建设很重要的一环。伊桑巴德后来接管了这一工程。

Brunel was always willing to try new ideas, not all of which worked out. One example of an ambitious failure was a train line run by a vacuum system. The system worked, but it was not efficient and Brunel himself called a halt to the project.
布鲁内尔经常乐意尝试新点子,虽然不是所有的新点子都成功了。一个非常有野心的失败项目就是修建真空系统铁路线。虽然真空系统成功建成了,但是其运行效率极为低下,布鲁内尔自己叫停了这个项目。