The membership records for IMechE, 1847-1930, are online via Ancestry. Our current members get free access using their ‘my account’ login details. Non-members can use their Ancestry login, or if you don’t have one please contact us to make an enquiry about an historic engineer.
Alongside IMechE online records, are some for the Institution of Automobile Engineers (1906–1930) and all those for Institution of Locomotive Engineers (1915-1930): both of whom amalgamated with us. The records offer great insight into the careers and accomplishments of many famous engineering pioneers, including one of the foremost designers of the internal combustion engine (Harry Ricardo) and the early sniper rifle (Sir Joseph Whitworth). The people applying formed the bedrock of the profession across all sectors, including manufacturing, railways and power engineering.
Membership proposal forms give career and educational history, as well as details of the applicants main engineering achievements. Several trends can be spotted: many trained as apprentices, or worked across the world (especially the British Empire). If you search for women, you’ll find that the IAE were the most diverse.
Some famous faces:
- Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce
- Nigel Gresley, designer of the Mallard, which still holds the land steam record
- Thomas Andrews, chief naval architect of the SS Titanic
- Frederick Lanchester, who designed and produced the first English car
- William Siemens, founder of Siemens Brothers
- Verena Holmes, first female member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1924)
If you are interested in an engineer post-1930 please contact us.