Last week Yossi Dotan noted that there were TWO famous engineers named Brunel: father and son team Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) and Marc's son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859). This was news to me, but not to Joe Esposito, whose earlier comment led to this thread. In his comments on the younger Brunel, he noted that his work included the Thames River Tunnel, but he wasn't confusing Isambard with Marc - he assisted on that project; both father and son were involved in the tunnel.
Thanks to Joe and Yossi for setting me straight. Philip Mernick and David Gladfelter provide further numismatic information below.
Phil Mernick kindly shared these images of medals picturing the two Brunels. Thanks! On a related numismatic note, David Gladfelter shared images of Brunel specimen banknotes (below). Thanks.
1842 Isambard Marc Brunel Thames Tunnel medal
1859 Isambard Kingdom Brunel Great Eastern Steamship medal
Harrison & Sons Specimen Notes
David Gladfelter writes:
The former British security printing firm of Harrison & Sons Ltd. used a portrait of the famous marine engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel to illustrate many varieties of specimen notes they employed to promote their business. Two different varieties are shown here. Along with Brunel’s portrait and vital statistics are shown images of two bridges and several ships that he designed. Security features include a watermark in the white space, visible from both sides, and variable color printing. (I have to say, the facial coloration on both specimens leaves something to be desired.)
After more than 200 years in business, Harrison & Sons was acquired by an equally venerable organization, De La Rue Company, in 1997. For more information, see Gene Hessler, The International Engraver’s Line (2005).
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
FATHER AND SON: THE ENGINEERS BRUNEL
Wayne Homren, Editor
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