Lewis’s Great Establishments, The “Great Eastern.” (with) Trade card advertising I. K. Brunels steamship Great Eastern.
b/w printing on silk, 19 x 19 1/2 inches.
The “Great Eastern” was an iron sail and steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and built by J. Scott Russell & Co. In 1858, at the time of her launching, she was the largest ship ever built. She made her first passage to America in 1859, a cruise that was marred by an explosion aboard. She had a checkered career thereafter. Having proved herself impossible to run profitably as a passenger liner, she was converted to a cable-laying ship and set down the first successful trans Atlantic cable. She ended her career as a floating music hall and advertisement for Lewis’ department stores. The Great Eastern card measures approximately 6 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches and features images of the ship under weigh and a longitudinal section, with specifics given in some detail. It is lithographed on coated stock with color highlights by Meyer & Co. of New York, and copyrighted by Wagstaff & Bro., 1859, in the Southern District of New York. The card was undoubtedly meant to coincide with publicity drummed up the the “Great Eastern’s” maiden voyage to New York. Silk and card, both in very good condition