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

Mather & Platt apprentices, 2 Apr 1936.


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


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


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

Queen Mary under construction


80 years since the Queen Mary’s maiden voyage: documenting the construction and launching the RMS Queen Mary It’s 80 years since the maiden voyage of Cunard’s flagship liner, the Queen Mary, which held the transatlantic speed record from the 1930s to the 1950s. The IMechE library team has been cataloguing printed manuscripts ranging from the 19th to the 21st century,  and one of these is … Continue reading QUEEN MARY

View of the fleet from an airship


“Battle cruiser seems in distress…” On 5th June 1916, a German u-boat mine claimed a prize- the life of Field Marshall Earl of Kitchener, Minister for War. He had been enroute to persuade the Russian Tsar to keep his troops engaged in the First World War. With him were 643 crew and his staff. Also killed were two IMechE members, Sir Frederick Hay Donaldson and … Continue reading HMS HAMPSHIRE SINKS

Destroyer fitted with high speed submarine mine sweep/paravane


Engineers at War: From Home Front to Battle Front online exhibition Paravanes were developed 1914-1916 by Lieutenant Burney and Commander Usborne as a direct result of the First World War, due to the need to destroy oceanic mines. We have original coloured drawings of the devices, alongside illustrations showing how they were used and our exhibition on engineering and the War has more details about the … Continue reading PARAVANES

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


The City of London provides many opportunities to view how engineering has impacted the City and vice versa. Yesterday we undertook a walk to a few of the key sites that can be visited. Starting at the Tower of London, take the unusual step of turning your back on the building (river to your left) and you will spot a doorway in a brick kiosk … Continue reading ENGINEERING & THE CITY

Steam turbine blades from an early sketch by Sir Charles Parsons

OBJECTS OF ENGINEERING-steam turbine notebook

Charles Algernon Parsons, Steam Turbine Notebook, 1894-1897  Last time we looked at the unconventional side of Parsons inventiveness (his quest for diamonds), this time we look at the work he is best known for. Parsons’ notebook features notes, calculations and sketches by Parsons on experimental parallel-flow (or axial-flow steam turbines) and related material. It is fully readable on our virtual archive. Best known for his … Continue reading OBJECTS OF ENGINEERING-steam turbine notebook