BOOK REVIEW: A square deal all round

This month we have a book review by David Andrews, member of the IMechE Engineering Heritage Awards Committee. David reviews A square deal all round, which tells the story of the famous company Perkins Engines. The title is a pun on the Perkins logo, which is made up of circles intersecting a square. He recommends the book as: “engineers can always learn something from studying the … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: A square deal all round

WWI engineering workshop


This week marks 100 years since (some) women got the vote in this country. It is also 100 years since a woman first presented a paper at the Institution. Olive Monkhouse talked about The Employment of Women in Munitions Factories. World War I brought with it a huge increase in demand for munitions, at the same time the workforce was reduced by men signing up … Continue reading EMPOWERING WOMEN


Tribology is the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It derives from the Greek word tribos, meaning ‘rubbing’. Graham Isaac, Visiting Professor at the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, University of Leeds, reviews resources on tribology from the IMechE Library. These comprise currently available classic and recent texts on the fundamentals, together with books on specialised applications. Members can follow the links to find out … Continue reading TOP TRIBOLOGY RESOURCES



The modern engineer can research and record engineering ideas using mobile devices and camera phones, as well as more traditional methods. In the 19th century engineers carried notebooks and a pencil to sketch designs on the move.  A man who exemplifies the image of the Victorian engineer as artist is David Joy, born in Leeds in 1825.  A collection of his drawings and his diary … Continue reading DAVID JOY

Cable's membership form


On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action. Gordon Porter Cable: 2nd January Associate Member 1913. Acting Deputy Executive Engineer, Bombay. Captain, Indian Army, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, Jaipur Transport Corps. Indian national. Institution First World War Honour Roll Members log in to Ancestry, via our Virtual Library, to access membership records for free. Archives, Institution of Mechanical Engineering Save Continue reading ON THIS DAY

Hiram Maxim and gun


Hiram Maxim was a prolific inventor; in 1866 he took out his first patent for a hair-curling iron. He went on to make improvements to automatic sprinklers, feed-water heaters, gas motors, dynamos and lamp carbons. He is also credited with constructing the first tricycle built in America. His rare talent for invention, and desire to improve upon existing machines and devices, led him to turn … Continue reading HIRAM MAXIM


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

Douglass' membership form


On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action. Percy Cuthbert Douglass Douglass: 10th December Graduate 1907; Associate Member 1912. Resident Engineer, Buckie Harbour Extention Works. Flight Commander, Royal Naval Air Force, 2 Wing Stravros (Pilot). Killed in Sopwith Strutter No N5618, crash landing after combat over Imbros. Observer Lieutenant W Hinsley injured. 1918 Obituary  Flight-Commander PERCY CUTHBERT DOUGLASS DOUGLASS, R.N.A.S., … Continue reading ON THIS DAY

Cousin's membership form


On this day, 100 years ago an IMechE member was killed in action. Arthur Norman Cousin: 7th December Graduate 1912. Student Demonstrator in Applied Mathematics, UCL. Captain (Adjutant), York and Lancashire Regiment, 12th Battalion. Killed in action, France. 1918 Obituary  Captain ARTHUR NORMAN COUSIN, York and Lancaster Regiment, was born in London on 8th May 1891. His early education was received at the High School, … Continue reading ON THIS DAY

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!