Viaduct across the Sankey


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

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

Flying testbed B2 Canberra WK163 fitted with a NSc D1-2 Double Scorpion rechargeable booster rocket. Stamped on rear - Napier Luton Airport, Neg no 22641, and Secret.


Whether you are in Dundee, Devises, Doha or Delhi you can now gain access to key items held in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers archive collection, all for free, just by going online. Curated from our extensive physical collections, our Virtual Archive showcases a selection of models, items, drawings, notebooks, photographs and documents about the history of engineering and the Institution. We have captured 3D … Continue reading VIRTUAL ARCHIVE: ENGINEERING HISTORY ONLINE

Viaduct across the Sankey


L&MR was opened on 15 Sep 1830 between Liverpool and Manchester. It was first public transport system which did not use animal traction power and the first to provide a scheduled passenger service; although it could be argued that it was seen as even more crucial for goods to be conveyed at the time. The initial 1823 survey for the line was carried out by … Continue reading LIVERPOOL & MANCHESTER RAILWAY

Mallard Engine


Our Presidents are drawn from across the spectrum mechanical engineering: representing the expertise and skills of the discipline. Presidential terms are now annual. For a portrait of each of our Presidents scroll through the image gallery, arranged by date (1847 onwards). For their biographies and portrait click on their name in the list. Past Presidents include George Stephenson (our first President and ‘Father of the … Continue reading IMechE PRESIDENTS

Stephenson's letter, side 1


As with many foundation stories, myths have arisen around the founding of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Perhaps the most potent is that George Stephenson decided to set up IMechE due to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) rebutting his membership application on the grounds that he was not a real engineer. On re-cataloguing all the Stephenson archives (George and Robert, and their companies) … Continue reading STEPHENSON & IMECHE: FACT & FICTION

An account of resolutions made by the Committee for the Renumeration of George Stephenson for his Safety Lamp Invention, including a list of subscribers.


This year marks 200 years since the invention of the Geordie Lamp – a revolutionary invention by George Stephenson – which is on view off our reception until Christmas. In 1812, Stephenson was an engine-wright at Killingworth High Pit. In this role, he was in charge of all of the colliery machine of the Grand Allies. Because this machinery was not only above ground, but … Continue reading GEORDIE LAMP

Stephenson's letter about becoming President


George Stephenson and the birth of IMechE On 27th Feb 1847 Stephenson writes that he is to become President to a “highly respectable mechanical institution at Birmingham”. He is of course, conveying that he is to be the first President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Bell has written to ask him what honours he has to his name: Stephenson replies that he has no … Continue reading OBJECTS OF ENGINEERING- the birth of IMechE


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

'Estimate of expense of making a road across Chat Moss' 20th Jun 1829


Chat Moss estimate- now available online The crossing cover Chat Moss was one of the toughest engineering challenges on the route of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, the world’s first inter-city passenger line. The Moss is formed from a huge swamp of mossy peat, and George Stephenson and his team had to traverse it in order to create the service. Written by John Dixon, this … Continue reading OBJECTS OF ENGINEERING- Chat Moss