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

Last arch of Blackfriars


Today, a train journey into London crossing over Blackfriars Railway Bridge provides the curious sight of a series of bright red bridge columns stretching out across the Thames. A clue to the origin of these columns lies at the South side of the river; a splendidly restored abutment displaying the insignia of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR).   The columns mark the position … Continue reading BLACKFRIARS



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


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

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

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

Prosthetic Arm


Our Engineering history timeline needs you! Covering c6000 BD-2014 AD we highlight key moments of invention and leaps forward in engineering. Now, we want you to tell us what key inventions we have missed. All we need is the date of the invention etc and some brief details. Engineering has been an integral factor throughout history and a crucial instrument of change and development, from the … Continue reading ENGINEERING TIMELINE

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

Trevithick's steam circus


Richard Trevithick’s Catch Me Who Can Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) was an important figure in the early development of steam technology. The Catch Me Who Can was the fourth (and last) of his steam railway locomotives. Built in 1808 by Rastrick and Hazledine, it was demonstrated to the public at a “steam circus” organised by Trevithick on a circular track. His earlier contributions include the first … Continue reading CATCH ME WHO CAN

The Morning Rush from King's Cross to the North 10:15am Leeds Express 10:5am Scotch Express 10:0am Non-Stop 'Flying Scotsman' 10:20am Peterborough


‘The most famous steam locomotive in the world’ The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Class A3 Pacific steam locomotive No. 4472 Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 and retired 1963. Scotsman was a flagship locomotive for the LNER, it represented the company at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924 and 1925. In February 1924, it acquired its name and the number 4472; a long-haul … Continue reading SCOTSMAN FLIES AGAIN