Quotes by Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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That is very fine; but it is impossible to make the men perfect; the men will always remain the same as they are now; and no legislation will make a man have more presence of mind, or, I believe, make him more cautious; and besides that, the next time such an accident occurs, the circumstances will be so different, that the instructions given to the men, in consequence of the former accident, will not apply. more...

If we must have heroes and wars whereinto make them, there is no war so brilliant as a war with the wrong, no hero so fit to be sung, as he who has gained the bloodless VICTORY of truth and mercy. more...

I am opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today. more...

If the Commission is to enquire into the conditions "to be observed," it is to be presumed that they will give the result of their enquiries; or, in other words, that they will lay down, or at least suggest, "rules" and "conditions to be (hereafter) observed" in the construction of bridges, or, in other words, embarrass and shackle the progress of improvement to-morrow by recording and registering as law the prejudices or errors of to-day. [Objecting to any interference by the State with the freedom of civil engineers in the conduct of their professional work.] more...

I am going to design... a Station after my own fancy; that is, with engineering roofs, etc. more...

Aeroplanes are not designed by science, but by art in spite of some pretence and humbug to the contrary. I do not mean to suggest that engineering can do without science, on the contrary, it stands on scientific foundations, but there is a big gap between scientific research and the engineering product which has to be bridged by the art of the engineer. more...


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