A HIGHLIGHT FROM…FREDERICK LANCHESTER’S NOTEBOOK

The managerial notebook of Frederick Lanchester provides (among other things) insight into a test run for one of the earliest Lanchester cars; the Lanchester eight. Frederick was one of three brothers who founded the Lanchester Engine Company in 1899 with the aim of producing motor cars to be sold to the public. Frederick Lanchester kept the notebook between 1899 and 1901 most likely whilst working … Continue reading A HIGHLIGHT FROM…FREDERICK LANCHESTER’S NOTEBOOK

FROM THE GALLERY: CARS AND HOW TO DRIVE THEM (1903)

The IMechE Library has been providing an information service to members since at least 1877, even before the Institution moved into its current location in One Birdcage Walk. It still holds many early engineering works, most of which are now located on the galleries which surround the library room. This series of posts looks at the fascinating stories these works can tell about history of … Continue reading FROM THE GALLERY: CARS AND HOW TO DRIVE THEM (1903)

An aluminium alloy camshaft cover being poured in the foundry.

THE NAPIER AERO ENGINE IN THE MAKING

D. Napier and Son Ltd. was a British engineering company best known for manufacturing and later designing automotive and aeronautical engines during the first half of the 20th century. One of the company’s most successful engines was the Lion, a 12-cylinder W12 configuration aero engine which was first produced in 1917 and continued to be manufactured into the 1930s. The Lion was a versatile engine … Continue reading THE NAPIER AERO ENGINE IN THE MAKING

First production Lanchester, 1900

LANCHESTER, THE AUTO PIONEER

Frederick William Lanchester (1868-1946) is well-known in automotive circles as an early innovator. His Pendulum Accelerometer is one of many items he gave to IMechE archive. Designed and constructed by him, and used by Daimler and Company, for the testing of brakes and accelerators (patented 1890). 100s of Lanchester drawings, as well as photos & written works are online. In late 1888, Lanchester was working … Continue reading LANCHESTER, THE AUTO PIONEER

UNIQUE GIFTS FROM THE IMECHE ARCHIVE

You may already know that hundreds of images from the IMechE archive are available online, but did you know that you can order unique gifts featuring these images? Whether it’s a print, place mat, mug, jigsaw or coaster, these make excellent (and surprising) gifts for engineers and engineering enthusiasts. To take a piece of the IMechE archive home, simply choose your image, then choose your … Continue reading UNIQUE GIFTS FROM THE IMECHE ARCHIVE

24-hour endurance record, SF Edge

GORDON BENNETT!

At the turn of the twentieth century, motor-racing was fraught with danger.  Races took place on the long, straight, main roads between cities and were impossible to police.  Hazards included spectators on the road, non-race traffic and poor quality roads.  The particularly disastrous 1903 Paris to Madrid race almost ended the sport, when as many as ten casualties (among both participants and spectators) led to … Continue reading GORDON BENNETT!

Ambulance car in ditch (Paul Cadbury papers)

FRIENDS AMBULANCE UNIT

“Altogether the Buicks (the last model of ambulance they used, presumably supplied by the Americans) gave good service, but I shudder to think what would have happened had the war lasted another year. Two years would seem to be about the maximum with an American chassis over war time roads.” When we think of engineering and engineers in the context of war, normally we conjure … Continue reading FRIENDS AMBULANCE UNIT

BEAULIEU: VISIT REPORT

Recently we were invited to visit the workshops at the National Motor Museum where they are working to restore the 1927 1000hp Sunbeam twin engines that hopefully be running again in March (more on that in a future post!). The Museum tells the story of the advancement of the motor cars and propelled transport, from penny farthings, to steam cars, to icons such as the … Continue reading BEAULIEU: VISIT REPORT

CREATING A DIGITAL ARCHIVE

Creating a virtual archive for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE’s Virtual Archive In conjunction with Townsweb The vast archive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) spans over 150 years in scope and is of National importance. So we were privileged to be selected by the Institution to build a Virtual Archive portal and publish their prestigious holdings online. Above image: Napier Deltic engine, … Continue reading CREATING A DIGITAL ARCHIVE

WINTER READING LIST

The IMechE Library have put together a special, seasonal reading list of selected UK and international papers from a variety of engineering industries including the automotive, aerospace, building and chemical industries. Topics include; building insulation, lighting and heating efficiency and studies on snow, de-icing and the effects of weather conditions on the ground and in the air. IMechE Members, you can read these papers by … Continue reading WINTER READING LIST