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IET Archives Blog

Stories from the Institution of Engineering and Technology

Electric vehicles; a history of innovation

“Its possibilities are simply boundless”  This was the reply given by Walter C Bersey when asked what he thought were the possibilities of the electric carriage in 1898. Mr Bersey became an Associate Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers... Continue Reading →

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Rare Book: Erasmus Darwin’s The Botanic Garden

By Daniel Simkin, IET Research Librarian The image above is from The Botanic Garden, a collection of two poems, The Economy of Vegetation and The Loves of Plants, written by Erasmus Darwin and first published in 1791 by Joseph Johnson... Continue Reading →

How the IET Library & Archives are using technology to keep calm and carry on!

Working from home is not a new concept, employees have had to juggle a plethora of other duties alongside their work. What is different this time is working through a global pandemic which has brought to light many new challenges.... Continue Reading →

Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947)

By Daniel Simkin, IET Research Librarian. On 1 May Labour Day, or International Workers' Day, is celebrated annually throughout the world and is a public holiday in many countries. It celebrates the achievements of workers in winning rights such as... Continue Reading →

De iride, or the rainbow

  The physicist and bibliophile Silvanus P Thompson is better known for his work on electric motors and the early history of electromagnetism. His library, now held at the IET, shows his interest in all areas of physics, especially optics... Continue Reading →

Rare book: John Evans’s The Universal Medicine or the Virtues of my Magneticall or Antimoniall Cup

By Daniel Simkin, IET Research Librarian The image above is the frontispiece of The Universal Medicine or the Virtues of my Magneticall or Antimoniall Cup, and depicts the author, John Evans, a 17th century Welsh astrologer. First published in 1634,... Continue Reading →

Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875): The Playfair Cipher

Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) was the Professor of Experimental Philosophy at Kings College London and was renowned for his many inventions, including the English Concertina, an early electrical telegraph, the stereoscope, and a ‘Magic Harp’ that later inspired Alexander Graham... Continue Reading →

S.P Thompson Pamphlets: Electric Clocks

By Aisling O'Malley, IET Archivist The Silvanus Phillips Thompson pamphlet collection was collated and arranged by Thompson, the former President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and professor of physics at the City and Guilds Technical College in London.... Continue Reading →

Margaret Partridge – electrical engineer and ‘wicked adventuress’

By Anne Locker, Library and Archives Manager As part of this year’s celebrations to mark the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), volunteers and researchers have been drawing out the stories of women who worked in all sectors of... Continue Reading →

Rare Book: Martin Del Rio’s Magical Investigations

By Daniel Simkin, IET Research Librarian The image above shows the engraved title page of Martin Del Rio’s Disquisitionum Magicarum or Magical Investigations, published in Latin in 1603. It examines the practice of demonic magic and gives advice on how... Continue Reading →

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