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

Latest project before painting.


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


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


In the Archive at IMechE we have several letters by Bessemer, available to researchers. One discusses the affinity of phosphorus and iron and the separation of the two. Email us to enquire. He became a member of IMechE in 1861. 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 … Continue reading SIR HENRY BESSEMER

Women factory workers 1917


Magnificent Women and their Revolutionary Machines Guest blog from Henrietta Heald Loughborough University’s Pioneering Women: There must be some sort of creative magic in the air of Loughborough. This thought occurred to me last week when I heard that two 16-year-old schoolboys from the Leicestershire town had been jointly awarded the title Young Engineer of the Year. Sankha Kahagala-Gamage and David Bernstein won the prize for inventing a vest … Continue reading CLAUDIA & VERENA

Russian commemorative stamp, 2002


When we think of snowy train journeys a romantic view of snow laden dales and trains steaming through drifts appears. However, the reality can be rather different. Perhaps no other route epitomises this battle between climate and engineering better than the Trans-Siberia Railway. In 1860 Russia’s railway network extended to 1,000 miles, by 1917 it was 45,000 miles. This huge increase was partly down to … Continue reading TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY


Our latest guest piece on our WWI exhibition comes from the Royal College of Surgeons. Having worked in otolaryngology, it was not until the First World War that Sir Harold Gillies (Fellow RCS 1901) began to develop maxillo-facial surgery and has since been considered by some to be the father of plastic surgery. Gillies developed and devised independently the potential and varied applications of a new … Continue reading FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION IN WWI

William Lockhart Bone's membership proposal form


The membership records for IMechE, 1847-1930, are online via Ancestry. Our current members get free access using their ‘my account’ login details. Non-members can use their Ancestry login, or if you don’t have one please contact us to make an enquiry about an historic engineer. Alongside IMechE online records, are some for the Institution of Automobile Engineers (1906–1930) and all those for Institution of Locomotive … Continue reading RESEARCHING ENGINEERS

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