Christian Friedrich Lautenschlager in a Mercedes in the 1914 French Grand Prix


Planes, trains and automobiles: mechanical engineering archives now online

Over 1900 images from the archives and historic book collection of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) are now available online via VADS. From pictures of experimental cars, aeroplanes, engine designs, engineers portraits, railway locomotives and much more. Highlights include works of art of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, images of Napier engines, design drawings of locomotives by David Joy and construction photographs of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Eastern. All the images are free for researchers to use. The pictures can also be reproduced On Demand as art prints and gifts.


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If you’d like commercial (publishing quality etc) images then please contact Mary Evans, who manage this process.

The archive charts the history of the Institution and of mechanical engineering, covering topics from railways to nuclear power, spanning the late 1800’s to the late 1900’s.

Explore our Image Library now. 

VADS has been hosted online for over 16 years by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), a specialist university with over 150 years of experience in supporting and developing creative arts students. VADS provides online access to a growing collection of visual images contributed by universities, libraries, museums and archives from across the UK, which can be used freely for educational purposes.

To explore all of VADS collections visit their collections page.

Archive, Institution of Mechanical Engineers


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