FROM THE GALLERY: CARS AND HOW TO DRIVE THEM (1903)

The IMechE Library has been providing an information service to members since at least 1877, even before the Institution moved into its current location in One Birdcage Walk. It still holds many early engineering works, most of which are now located on the galleries which surround the library room. This series of posts looks at the fascinating stories these works can tell about history of … Continue reading FROM THE GALLERY: CARS AND HOW TO DRIVE THEM (1903)

First production Lanchester, 1900

LANCHESTER, THE AUTO PIONEER

Frederick William Lanchester (1868-1946) is well-known in automotive circles as an early innovator. His Pendulum Accelerometer is one of many items he gave to IMechE archive. Designed and constructed by him, and used by Daimler and Company, for the testing of brakes and accelerators (patented 1890). 100s of Lanchester drawings, as well as photos & written works are online. In late 1888, Lanchester was working … Continue reading LANCHESTER, THE AUTO PIONEER

MECHANICAL WATERCOLOURS

Launched on 31st January, The Watercolour World showcases the pre-photographic world in over 80,000 images, including several 100 items from our archives. So come and take a tour around a vanishing world without even leaving your seat! Here are some of our IMechE favourites, explore our images for yourself: And from around the site: Archives, Institution of Mechanical Engineers Continue reading MECHANICAL WATERCOLOURS

HISTORY DAY 2018

A chance for students and researchers to discover more about available research collections, History Day 2018 will feature a joint offering from IMechE, IET, IOM3 and The Aeronautical Society (The Engineering Institutions’ Librarians’ Committee). This year we are throwing a spotlight on our first female members and our membership holdings. Book now for History Day! Founded in 1866, The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (later … Continue reading HISTORY DAY 2018

Bloodhound SSC

A BRIEF HISTORY OF LAND SPEED TIMES

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

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!

WOMEN RIDERS

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

Ambulance car in ditch (Paul Cadbury papers)

FRIENDS AMBULANCE UNIT

“Altogether the Buicks (the last model of ambulance they used, presumably supplied by the Americans) gave good service, but I shudder to think what would have happened had the war lasted another year. Two years would seem to be about the maximum with an American chassis over war time roads.” When we think of engineering and engineers in the context of war, normally we conjure … Continue reading FRIENDS AMBULANCE UNIT

BEAULIEU: VISIT REPORT

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 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