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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Rare Brunel photographs revealed

The exhibition gives an insight into Victorian engineering

Rare images of industrial pioneer Isambard Kingdom Brunel have gone on display at the Science Museum, London.

The collection includes Brunel's iconic pose in front of the chains of his Great Eastern ship - along with two other "takes" of the same scene.

The exhibition's curator says the multiple pictures may be one of the first examples of image management.

The display is one of the activities to mark the 200th anniversary of Brunel's birth.

The exhibition also includes pictures taken by photographer Robert Howlett of the construction of the Great Eastern. Launched in 1858, it was the largest ship of its time.

Andrew Nahum, principal curator of technology at the Science Museum, said photographing the construction was a feat in itself.

"Robert Howlett had to use cumbersome equipment and a highly complex and delicate photo process but produced fabulous images which combine pictorial power with extraordinary tonal depth and detail," he said.

"These views invite us to think about the emerging interplay between fame and photography, when it was new."

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