WWI engineering workshop

CELEBRATING WOMEN

International Women in Engineering Day is a global celebration of women past, present and future. As was the case in many professions, female pioneers in mechanical engineering had to work hard to break into a male dominated profession. The issue of women members was first raised in the Institution of Automobile Engineers (IAE) in May 1907. Miss Cleone de Heveningham Benest (1880-1963) wrote to find out … Continue reading CELEBRATING WOMEN

Viaduct across the Sankey

STEPHENSON ONLINE

George Stephenson is rightly known as a great engineer. He is primarily associated with railways but he was active in other areas – there were lively debates, encompassing supporter’s gatherings, witness statements and letters, discussing whether he or Humphrey Davy invented the safety lamp. Here at IMechE, we hold a large collection of Stephenson material, both for George and Robert, and their companies – including … Continue reading STEPHENSON ONLINE

SIR HENRY BESSEMER

Our Bessemer letters are now online, free for all to read! One discusses the affinity of phosphorus and iron and the separation of the two. Bessemer is most widely known for the process named for him. Born in Hertfordshire in 1813 to a French engineer father, he showed an interest in engineering and invention as a boy. His first invention, was to use brass as … Continue reading SIR HENRY BESSEMER

LOCOMOTIVE TESTING

Carling’s slide collection is now available on our Virtual Archive. Here at the Institution, we have recently finished cataloguing the papers of Denis Rock Carling, Superintendent of the Rugby Locomotive Testing Station (LTS). If you are interested in researching our Carling papers, or any other collections, please email us at archive@imeche.org Some of the images can be seen here. In his Presidential Address to the Institution … Continue reading LOCOMOTIVE TESTING

WWI engineering workshop

EMPOWERING WOMEN

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

Hercules

DAVID JOY

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

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!

Clearing up in the town of Soissons after bombing, September 1914 (photo by Fred Davidson)

PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE TRENCHES

Andrew Davidson’s grandfather, Fred, took into the trenches with him a foldable camera. The small, portable, foldable camera was one of the great advances in technology that followed the Edwardian era. For young men obsessed with the latest ‘gadgets’ in an age of invention – motorbikes, cars, planes – it became an affordable must-have, with its ability to take snapshots quickly on small rolls of … Continue reading PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE TRENCHES

Latest project before painting.

CHERRY HILL

Cherry Hinds Hill is a well-known name to those in the model engineering world and her models are considered remarkable for their quality. The Duke of Edinburgh Challenge Trophy and the Championship Cup has been won by Cherry 9 times. Yet she has always maintained a low profile-she has allowed her work to speak for her. Cherry’s models are based on both historic working engines … Continue reading CHERRY HILL

BOOK REVIEW: Jet Flight

Henry Davies, work experience student, reviews a book from the library’s Archive Gallery. Jet Flight, John Grierson, 1946 On my work experience at the IMechE I spent a day in the library and for part of the day I was privileged enough to visit the upper level of the library where I found and read a number of very interesting books from the dawn of … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: Jet Flight