- This is Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s personal diary which he started writing when he was 21 years old. He wrote in the first entry that he planned to use the diary to record his “feeling habits faults wishes hopes and every thing belonging to the present moment.”
- Brunel did not write in the diary every day; the first entry was written on 11 October 1827 and the last was written on the 6 April 1829. It is only 35 pages long.
- Written in ink, the leather-bound book is known as the “locked diary”. Brunel would have been able to keep his thoughts secret by using the metal clasp and a small key to lock the diary.
- He writes about his work as an assistant engineer on the Thames Tunnel and includes an account of an accident that left him seriously injured. The diary offers an interesting look into Brunel as a person and how he viewed himself.
Brunel’s Locked Diary, 1827-1829
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Find out ‘A Bit about Brunel’ with this Fact Sheet (download and print)
Design your own ship and tackle exciting engineering challenges with help from Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Unlock full classroom version using 1843SCHOOLS code.
Play the Full Steam Ahead educational computer game (play online or download apple/android app)
Find out more about the Thames Tunnel here