William Lockhart Bone's membership proposal form

RESEARCHING ENGINEERS

We have added another 8 years of membership records for IMechE, IAE and ILochE to Ancestry, 1847-1938.

The records have been fully indexed and so searching is easy – access is free to members using your IMechE login details (click ‘Members Ancestry’). Members of Ancestry and non-members can also use the collection (click ‘Discover Ancestry’).

A selection of some of our most famous members forms are free to all on our Virtual Archive.

Verena Holmes Membership Proposal
Verena Holmes’ proposal form

The records offer great insight into the careers and accomplishments of many famous engineering pioneers. The people applying formed the bedrock of the profession across all sectors, including manufacturing, railways and power engineering.

IMechE 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, including some non-engineers in the 1930s records:

  • 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);
  • Dorothée Aurélie Marianne Pullinger and Cleone de Heveningham Benest, joint first female members of the Institution of Automobile Engineers (1920);
  • Edward VIII and George VI, IMechE patrons from summer 1936 (there were two due to the former’s abdication);
  • James Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Party politician to become Prime Minister, was made a Life Member in 1936.

If you are interested in an engineer post-1938 please contact us.

Archive, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

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