Isambard Kingdom Brunel & Florence Nightingale a Connection

Just another one of those Intriguing connections

    • In February 1855, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was working on the design and build of the SS Great Eastern.
    • Florence Nightingale meanwhile was nursing soldiers from the battlefields of the Crimean War
    • The conditions Florence was working in at the hospital at Scutari were appalling and soldiers not dying of their battle injuries, were dying from diseases caused by the unsanitary conditions in the hospital.
    • The War Office asked Brunel to design and build a pre-fabricated hospital to send to the Crimea and within five months, Brunel had designed, built and shipped a structure made of wood and canvas.
    • His building took full account of the need for a sanitary environment, ventilation, drainage, cleanliness and even an attempt at controlling temperatures.

Such was the success of the structure, that there were fifty times fewer deaths amongst soldiers nursed in it, than in the Scutari hospital it replaced.

Florence Nightingale referred to them as ‘marvellous huts’.

What an amazing combination!

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