His steam railways, tunnels, ships, bridges and buildings are still celebrated today for the profound effect they had on Britain and the rest of the world.
Now Royal Mail celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of engineering mastermind Isambard Kingdom Brunel with six long landscape stamps issued on 23 February 23.
Brunel was a recognised genius of the Industrial Age, whose vision and daring produced some of the greatest engineering wonders of Victorian Britain. To mark the anniversary, Royal Mail worked with leading Brunel historians to select six fine examples from his remarkable portfolio of work.
In conjunction with the Royal Mint, a limited-edition Stamp Coin Cover is also be released, containing a full set of the stamps together with two brilliant, uncirculated ?2 silver coins presented in a fully illustrated cover. 25,000 Stamp Coin Covers will be produced and each will be individually numbered.
The Brunel Presentation Pack looks in detail at five Brunel projects: three bridges ? the Royal Albert, Maidenhead and Clifton; one station: Paddington; and one steam ship: the SS Great Britain. The miniature sheet is designed by hat-trick design and features all six stamps surrounded by a metallic grey border and Victorian motif.
Julietta Edgar, Head of Philatelic Sector, Royal Mail said: “Brunel?s audacious and technically brilliant feats of engineering changed the landscape of Britain forever.
“This special stamp issue will, I believe, play an important role in recognising the genius of this great man as examples of his work arrive on mail in many of the 27 million homes in the UK.”
1st Class – Royal Albert Bridge – The stamp features a steel engraving of the Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash by Cornish artist R T Pentreath, copyright Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library.
40p – Box Tunnel – The stamp image is taken from a coloured lithograph West Entrance to Box Tunnel on the Great Western Railway by John Cook Bourne, 1846 copyright National Railway Museum/Science and Society Picture Library
42p – Paddington Station – The stamp image is a photograph taken by York and Son between 1870 and 1890, copyright English Heritage
47p – PSS Great Eastern – Little is known about this image apart from the fact that it is dated around 1860, copyright Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library
60p – Clifton Suspension Bridge – The image is taken from a lithograph of the design of Clifton Suspension Bridge by G Childs, after a sketch by S Jackson circa 1834, copyright Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library
68p – Maidenhead Bridge – The image is taken from a colour lithograph of the Maidenhead Bridge by John Cook Bourne, copyright National Railway Museum/Science and Society Picture Library
Presentation Pack 381? Brunel Price: ?3.40
The fully illustrated presentation pack comprises of a full set of the six Brunel stamps. The pack was designed by hat-trick design and written by design and architectural historian Jeremy Myerson. The Pack is printed by Walsall Security Printers.
First Day Cover Envelope Price: 25p
The First Day Cover Envelope was designed by hat-trick design and printed by Smurfit Print UK. The filler card was also designed by hat-trick design and written by design and architectural historian Jeremy Myerson and is printed by Fulmar Colour Printing Company Ltd.
Miniature Sheet Price: ?2.87
The miniature sheet is designed by hat-trick design and features all six stamps surrounded by a metallic grey border with a Victorian wrought iron motif. The dimensions of the Miniature Sheet are 190mm x 66mm.
Prestige Stamp Book ? Brunel Price: ?7.40
The 20-page PSB has been designed by hat-trick design with copy by journalist and writer Eugene Byrne. The book details Brunel?s career, achievements and legacy. There are four stamp panes consisting of three three-stamp panes and one eight-stamp pane.
The first pane features the Royal Albert Bridge, Paddington Station and the Maidenhead Bridge stamps. The second contains the Box Tunnel, Clifton Suspension Bridge and PSS Great Eastern stamps. The third pane features the PSS Great Eastern and two of the PS Great Western from the 2004 Ocean Liners issue.
The fourth pane consists of eight mixed Machins which surround a commemorative label featuring a relief bust of Brunel.
Stamp Coin Cover Price: ?15.95
A limited-edition Stamp Coin Cover, produced in conjunction with the Royal Mint, contains a full set of the stamps together with two brilliant, uncirculated ?2 silver coins ? housed in a fully illustrated cover.
25,000 of these Stamp Coin Covers will be produced and each will be individually numbered.
Stamp Cards Price: ?2.10
Seven postcards bearing an enlarged image of each of the Brunel stamps and the miniature sheet go on sale from 16 February 2006. They are printed by Fulmar Colour Printing Company Ltd.
Two different pictorial ?first day of issue postmarks? are available for every new stamp issue.
Unstamped Royal Mail First Day Cover envelopes (price 25p) will be available from Post Office? branches and philatelic outlets approximately one week before issue. Collectors who hand in or post covers at main Post Office? branches will receive the pictorial plain BRISTOL first day postmark.
Alternatively, collectors may send stamped covers of the first day of issue to the British Philatelic Bureau, Tallents House, Edinburgh, quoting reference FD06 05 (Tallents House) or to any Special Handstamp Centre quoting reference FD06 06 BRISTOL (pictorial postmark) FD06 06NP (non-pictorial).