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

Bloodhound SSC


SSC land-speed record attempts capture all the excitement of motoring, racing and cutting edge technology in one! The Jeantaud was the first to set a record. It was a French automobile manufactured in Paris 1893-1906 by Charles Jeantaud – a coachbuilder who made his first electric car in 1881. Among the cars built by him, one established the first land speed record (39.24mph) in 1898. The 1899 … Continue reading A BRIEF HISTORY OF LAND SPEED TIMES

24-hour endurance record, SF Edge


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!


Kitty May Brunell was one of a clutch of women motorsport riders in the 1920s-1930s. Born in 1911, Kitty grew up surrounded by racing. Her father was Bill Brunell (officially William Joseph Brunell), a well-known photographer of motorsports. Her mother was Katie Margaret Meech. Brunell officially began rallying in 1928, she was only seventeen at the time, but it seems she stopped around 1933. Despite … Continue reading WOMEN RIDERS


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 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


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

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 … Continue reading IMAGE LIBRARY ONLINE

Girl with motorised bike, c1898


  This picture of a very early British motor bicycle originally came from pioneer motorist Montague Graham White’s collection with the note that it was a Lawson 1898-1899 motor bicycle. It is of the first British made motor bicycle that went into production. The first catalogued motor bicycle was the Pennington designed New Beeston Family Motor Cycle, it was featured in their 1898 sales folder … Continue reading EARLY MOTOR BICYCLES

Changing wheels during the record attempt


This summer (21st July 2015) Pendine Sands was once again the running location of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Sunbeam 350hp Bluebird. Driven by his grandson, the drive recreated its record breaking run of 1925. The Bluebird set three land speed records: 133.75mph in 1922 driven by Kenelm Lee Guinness; 146.16mph in 1924 by Campbell; and 150.76 mph in 1925 by Campbell. Altogether, Campbell broke nine land … Continue reading SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL