GREAT WESTERN 1837
|RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE
THE OCEAN LINERS
Welcome to our Great Western website celebrating this remarkable and exceptionally historic transatlantic steamship. This ship was the first purpose built transatlantic steamship and first ocean liner. This ship pioneered the transatlantic crossing for steamships and in many ways is the first ocean liner. This website celebrates the history of this pioneering ship and honours its unique place in maritime history in the birth of the transatlantic crossing.
Designed by the
famous railway engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Great Western was
his first ship. Brunel had a vision of extending his Great Western
Railway (London to Bristol) to New York via a passenger steamship
service. He saw that steamships would eventually replace the
transatlantic sailing packets that had been running their scheduled
service since 1818 when the James Monroe inaugurated the service with
Line. As a result the Great Western Steamship Company was created to
own the Great Western.
The Great Western was built at the shipyard of Patterson & Mercer in Bristol. She was launched on the 19th July 1837. The Great Western set off from Bristol on the 8th April 1837 on her maiden voyage bound for New York. The Great Western arrived in New York on the 23rd April 1838 setting the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing and so beat the Sirius and captured the Blue Riband.
Thus the Great Western was the
first purpose built transatlantic steamship and first ocean liner. This
ship pioneered the transatlantic
crossing for steamships and in many ways is the first ocean
liner. Thus she made maritime history. Indeed
historic legacy still continues today with Cunard Line and their
regular transatlantic crossing with the RMS Queen Mary 2. So the legend
S.S. GREAT WESTERN
~ The First Transatlantic Steamship ~
The Steamship Pioneer of the Transatlantic Crossing ~
Bristol to New York transatlantic service
"THE TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING"
(c) The AJN Transport Britain Collection 2008 A Edward Elliott