Boring Rock

More from early issues of The Engineer


The Brandt Hydraulic Rock Drill

(Photo from The Engineer, 24 Feb 1905 issue, p 189, schematic – below – from p 188 ibid).


Brandt Hydraulic Rock Borer

1905 saw the final stages in the construction of the first of the Simplon Tunnels, to be opened in 1906, drilling courtesy of Brandau and Brandt. The rock drill shown above is the kind of machinery being used all over the world at that time. There was a certain amount of Drill Fever going on.

Ten years later, smaller rock drills would figure in Jacob Epstein’s sculpture. Go see the pictures and try not to let it remind you of Giger’s Aliens. Did Epstein get there first?


How the King may travel to Paris – in Future: What the Conqueror did not foresee

Those looming ships and swarming monoplanes don’t make it look as if the tourists are particularly friendly. There’s a touch of the vortex in the drawing.

Have a look at the artist’s signature in the bottom left:


Although without the cubist angularity the sense of the unstoppability of technology is quite pronounced – and explicit, if a tad optimistic, in the accompanying text:

Once the Channel Tunnel is complete – and sooner or later it is bound to come – the tourist bound for France will have the choice of travel by land, sea and air.