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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 →

The Kinora: Pioneer of Edwardian Home Movies

What you see above is a Kinora, a device invented by cinematography pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière. Patented in France in 1896, the Kinora was a smaller and portable version of the mutoscope, known in the United Kingdom as ‘What-the-butler-saw... Continue Reading →

Insight into the East Midlands Electricity Board (EMEB)

  We recently received a number of photographs and slides from the family of Roy Briggs, who was a member of the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE), and subsequently the IET, until his death in 2017. These images, likely taken... Continue Reading →

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