Date Added: 13 March 2022
GREAT EASTERN from 1858 - She was a true monster in her time. And that was her name - at least until she was launched: LEVIATHAN. Named after the Old Testament monster from the sea that destroyed everything. But mishaps and accidents began to occur during construction, and there is even a rumour that two workers were buried alive in her double-walled hull. So it is not surprising that the largest floating colossus of its century by far was given a new name even before it was commissioned: GREAT EASTERN. Originally designed for the India and Australia service with a capacity of 4,000 passengers, it was precisely these that failed to materialise due to the accumulation of accidents. Only when she laid the first transatlantic cable between the Old and New World in 1865 did a better phase dawn. But this did not last long; soon there were more suitable and more profitable cable ships. Used as a floating exhibition space in New York in 1886, the GREAT EASTERN was ultimately taken to Liverpool in 1888 and scrapped within 18 months from 1889. The hull itself, which is divided into four parts and held together by sections of bamboo knitting needles and then glued in the bottle, is made of relatively soft abachi, while the filigree bulwark is made of a thin strip of quite hard pear wood. The six masts or stays of the middle masts, gaffs and yards are also made of bamboo knitting needles or toothpicks. The two paddle wheels are made of 0.3 mm silver wire glued together with superglue, and the propeller was once the brass inner workings of a drawing pin. The four anchors are made of floral wire, the rigging is made of human hair. The fitting of the deck with all the superstructures as well as the insertion of the six masts naturally began from the back to the front. At the very end, the two paddle wheel boxes and the half paddle wheels were attached to the hull.