Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Such a small baby that his parents gave him a very big name to compensate. He was obsessed with size for the rest of his life.
The Great Britain
His idea of turning Great Britain into the world’s biggest ship was foiled when the Irish refused to move to let him out (the “Irish problem”). He had to build very large boats instead.
SS Great Western
Ocean liner that only went one way. Instead of just fixing the rudder, he built…
SS Great Eastern
Equally large vessel that went the other way.
Great Western Railway
As a child, he was refused a train set. As an adult, he build his own full-size one, complete with bridges and stations. Happily he stopped before he put an enormous teddy-bear in a goods wagon.
His habit of calling everything “great” meant he was only a “super, smashing” away from being the world’s first host of a darts-based quiz game.
Pioneered by Brunel, it was a transportable hole used to go through mountains. Eventually lost when it fell into itself.
Clifton suspension bridge
So called because it took so long to finish that the people of Bristol were in suspense for years.
Royal Albert Bridge
Created for Queen Victoria so she didn’t have to wake her consort to get to her side of the mattress when she came to bed after a particularly late drinking session.
The world’s first portable cigar lighter. Unfortunately so heavy it compressed Brunel even further.
Brunel died before the Clifton bridge could be completed. The suspense killed him.