JOSEPH BRAMAH

Storey’s Gate Tavern once stood where IMechE’s London Headquarters now stands. It is home to the only known portrait of a remarkable engineer, Joseph Bramah. It is fitting that this is its location, as it is thanks to Bramah and his patented beer pump that customers can today enjoy a fresh drink from the beer tap! Bramah was born in Stainborough, Yorkshire, 13 April 1748 … Continue reading JOSEPH BRAMAH

Mather & Platt apprentices, 2 Apr 1936.

ENGINEERING AN EDUCATION

As mechanical engineering began to develop as a profession in the late eighteenth century, the question of how best to educate and train engineers became increasingly important. In Britain, the preference was strongly in favour of ‘on the job’ training.  Initially, an apprenticeship would be purchased in a given firm or with a consulting engineer and you’d be indentured to learn the trade for a … Continue reading ENGINEERING AN EDUCATION

SIR HENRY BESSEMER

From 1833 Sir Henry Bessemer lived in Islington at 15 Northampton Square, on the site today is the main entrance of City, University of London. Today, a Blue Plaque for Bessemer is being unveiled by the Mayor of Islington. This will be accompanied by an exhibition which will focus on the history of Northampton Square, Bessemer’s life and his invention of the revolutionary Bessemer Process, as well … Continue reading SIR HENRY BESSEMER

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

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

IMAGE LIBRARY ONLINE

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

British tank factory, 1917

100 YEARS OF THE TANK

“It was a weapon designed for one simple task: crossing the killing zone between trench lines and breaking into enemy defenses [sic].” (1) Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first tanks used in combat during World War One The Mark I British ‘landship’ was introduced at the battle of Flers-Courcelette ten weeks into The Somme  Organized in secret, the plan went awry when the … Continue reading 100 YEARS OF THE TANK

Visits made by members of the Institution of St Louis, Festival Hall and Cascades

MEET ME IN ST LOUIS

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or St. Louis World’s Fair, was an international event held in St. Louis in 1904. We know many Members of IMechE were planning on attending because James Rowan wrote to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Secretary to suggest that their attendance would be a good opportunity for the two Institutions to hold a joint summer meeting in Chicago. A … Continue reading MEET ME IN ST LOUIS

Sir William Anderson

ANNIVERSARIES SERIES-Sir William Anderson

This week marks 180 years since the birth of William Anderson, a past president of our Institution. Born in St Petersburg on the 5th January 1835, Anderson came to the UK in 1849 to study applied sciences at Kings College, London. Upon graduation, he travelled to Manchester to be a pupil of Sir William Fairbairn at the Canal Street Works. Anderson then moved to Dublin … Continue reading ANNIVERSARIES SERIES-Sir William Anderson

FRANK EWART SMITH

    Frank Ewart Smith (1897-1995) was Deputy Director of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), he then went on to work with the NHS and undertook work as a Fellow of the Royal Society. During the Second World War he worked on armaments, especially the PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank portable weapon). Smith was also Vice President of the IMechE. His archive is now catalogued and open … Continue reading FRANK EWART SMITH

Engineers at War: from home front to battle front

ENGINEERS AT WAR: FROM HOME FRONT TO BATTLE FRONT

Engineers at War: from Home Front to Battle Front On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. Engineers were involved in the conflict at every level, both at home and abroad. The First World War arguably represents the largest seismic shift of the … Continue reading ENGINEERS AT WAR: FROM HOME FRONT TO BATTLE FRONT