Bloodhound SSC


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


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!


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


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 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

Dorothée Pullinger


Today for National Women in Engineering day, we celebrate the life of automobile engineer Dorothée Pullinger. Born in St Aubin-sur-Scie, France in 1894, Dorothée moved to England at the age of 8. At 16, She started work as a junior in the drawing office of Arrol-Johnston, in Paisley, Scotland where her father also worked as an engineer. By the time that WW1 broke out, Pullinger … Continue reading NATIONAL WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DAY


Announcing the launch of our new and improved archive catalogue, archive cat. Archive cat provides a gateway to 1000’s of records charting the history of the Institution and of mechanical engineering; the archive is open to all. Railway engineering, manufacturing, power plant development and automobile development are particularly well represented through personal and company papers. Personal papers of prominent mechanical engineers include those of George … Continue reading ARCHIVE CATALOGUE

Happy Christmas Eve! 'The Christmas Tree', by Albert Chevallier Tayler, 1911.


2014 has been a year of great activity in the archive, pathing the way for exciting developments in 2015. This year cannot go past without mentioning those who lost their lives, while members of this Institution, during the First World War. We have commemorated them in a number of ways, through our Honour Roll and Engineers at War: from Home Front to Battle Front exhibition. … Continue reading 2014 REVIEW

Marshal Liman von Sanders Mercades


Marshal Liman von Sanders Mercades In a way this object is something of a curiosity, at first it looks like a fairly regualr model of a car, with nice additions such as a hinged working door. It has been photographed in 3D* so that you can properly see these features. But when you look into its history it reveals itself to be anything but ordinary. … Continue reading OBJECTS OF ENGINEERING-WWI car model