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

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


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

Looking south at Cowper's roof


The Great Exhibition of 1851 is often recalled for its architectural, royal patronage and cosmopolitan feel but less commonly for what was actually displayed: the full title of the event was The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations. For engineers here was an opportunity to show their wears and skills. IMechE members contributed both to the organisation and the exhibits: Robert … Continue reading MAKING AN EXHIBITION