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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in 1806 and is best known for creating the Great Western Railway for which he was Chief Engineer. It ran from London to Bristol from Paddington Station, which Brunel also designed and opened in 1854. It was his dream that passengers would be able to buy one ticket at London Paddington and travel all the way to New York, only stopping to board his steamship, the SS GreatEastern, at a terminus on the South Wales coast. His offices were in nearby Duke Street where he also lived with his family in the rooms above. He smoked around 40 cigars a day which probably hastened his early death at the age of 53.

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