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Document number: 02941
Date: 11 Jul 1834
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BRUNEL Isambard Kingdom
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA34-25
Last updated: 25th November 2017

1 <1>
July 11th 1834.

Dear Sir

I should be wary to deter you from making so usefull an experiment as the one you propose, but the result of my enquiries certainly was that oil pressing <2> required an establishment which involved many expences – You must have a winnowing machine, rather different from the common ones – a pair of crushing rollers –
a pair of edgestones – and a heating apparatus wh all these must be had whether you use a hydraulic press or a common stamper and there must be horsepower to work it – I have supposed that you have a horse mill already such as is used for thrashing machines – and the expence of the rest of which the press only forms a part would be at least £400 and 3
I should say £500 – this would furnish you certainly with a very complete apparatus but I do not think you could save £50 certainly not £100 by contenting yourself with the most ordinary apparatus such as you mentioned

The 3d reading of the Great Westn <3> will I expect come on about Wednesday the 16th – If however you can conveniently attend on Monday next <4> at 12 o clock when the bill is reported we should 4
feel obliged as it would be in the power of a member <5> to move that the bill be recommitted or taken into consideration that Day six months <6> such things have been done and our opponents <7> are very bitter –

I am dear Sir Yours very truly
I K Brunel


1. These pages uncharacteristically numbered by WHFT.

2. Possibly from linseed.

3. The Parliamentary Bill (the Western Rail-road Bill) for the authorisation of the London–Bristol line was debated in the Commons in March 1834 [see Doc. No: 02963], and the Amendments made in committee were passed 22 July, but the bill was defeated in the House of Lords, 25 July 1834. The Great Western Railway finally received its enabling Act of Parliament on 31 August 1835.

4. Monday 14 July.

5. That is, a Member of Parliament, as WHFT was at the time.

6. That is, six months from that day.

7. There was widespread opposition to the building of railways from landowners who objected to the noise, smell and intrusiveness, from local farmers and businessmen who feared competition from goods brought in from elsewhere, and from those with interests vested in other forms of transport. [See Woodward, Age of Reform (Oxford: OUP, 1938), pp. 44–45.] There was also opposition from rival railway companies: see Doc. No: 03060.