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Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849), Civil engineer

Sitter in 10 portraits
Brunel was one of the principal engineers and inventors of the Regency period. Born in France, he fled the French Revolution in 1793 and settled in England in 1799. A prolific inventor, Brunel devised power-driven machines for sawing timber, knitting stockings and mass-producing ships' rigging blocks. He improved the docks at Chatham and Liverpool before taking on his most important project, the Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping (1825-43), the first tunnel built under a navigable river.