City and River 1820 - 1840

The first half of the nineteenth century brought great change to London's river and port. A huge docks complex was built on the Isle of Dogs, new bridges spanned the Thames and a tunnel was dug beneath it. The scale of London's commercial activity grew massively and all those changes are examined in this gallery. The gallery also examines the whaling trade. At one time London had the largest fleet of whalers in the world and the display includes a selection of nineteenth-century harpoons, a pot for boiling whale blubber to extract the oil and some timber from a nineteenth century whaler. This was also an age of engineering, with the demolition of the old medieval London bridge and its replacement with a splendid new one designed by John Rennie. Marc Isambard Brunel went further by constructing the first Thames tunnel between Wapping and Rotherhithe. The gallery includes models and original drawings of what was the world's first tunnel under a navigable waterway.

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