Tunnelling Shield


Mark Cartwright
by Unknown Artist
published on 02 March 2023
Tunnelling Shield Download Full Size Image

An illustration of the tunnelling shield designed by Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849). The shield was used during the construction of the Thames Tunnel, completed in 1843. The shield allowed workers to excavate but be protected from cave-ins. The idea, according to tradition, was inspired by the shipworm (Teredo navalis) which burrows into the wooden hulls of ships. The shipworm's soft interior is protected while it bores by a hard outer shell around its gnawing jaws and head. Brunel's idea was that a shield would act as a temporary support for a stretch of the excavated area until a more solid covering of the tunnel could be put in place. The tunnelling shield has been used on many major engineering projects ever since, notably the Channel Tunnel connecting the UK with France.

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APA Style

Artist, U. (2023, March 02). Tunnelling Shield. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/image/17151/tunnelling-shield/

Chicago Style

Artist, Unknown. "Tunnelling Shield." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 02, 2023. https://www.worldhistory.org/image/17151/tunnelling-shield/.

MLA Style

Artist, Unknown. "Tunnelling Shield." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 02 Mar 2023. Web. 23 May 2024.