S.S. Great Britain
The SS Great Britain was a passenger steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company's transatlantic service between Bristol and New York. Other ships had previously been built of iron or equipped with a screw propeller but Great Britain was the first to combine these features in a large ocean-going ship. She was the first screw steamer to cross the Atlantic, which she did in 1845 in a record time of 14 days. When launched in 1843, Great Britain was by far the largest vessel afloat but her protracted construction and high cost had left her owners in a difficult financial position, and they were forced out of business in 1846 after the ship was stranded by a navigational error. Sold for salvage and repaired, the Great Britain carried many thousands of immigrants to Australia until converted to sail in 1881. Three years later, the vessel was retired to the Falkland Islands where she was used as a warehouse, quarantine ship and coal hulk until scuttled in 1937. In 1970, she was returned to the Bristol dry dock where she was first built and is now an award-winning visitor attraction and museum ship in Bristol Harbour, with between 150,000–170,000 visitors annually.