IET Archives Blog

Stories from the Institution of Engineering and Technology


S P Thompson

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 →

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 →

London Camera Club

A recent blog delved into a volume of recently conserved pamphlets in the IET Archives, originally in the collection of S P Thompson, which was on the subject of optics. Another pamphlet volume also recently conserved has the title ‘optics... Continue Reading →

Naming Your Child After an Influential Teacher!

We recently discovered a fascinating letter written in 1907 by the electrical engineer and author, William Perren Maycock. The above photograph shows William Perren Maycock around 1895, and is taken from a series of 55 photographs of ‘eminent electrical engineers’... Continue Reading →

S P Thompson and his Challenge to the Edison/Bell Telephone Patents

Silvanus Phillips Thompson (1851-1916) is perhaps best known as a professor of physics at the City and Guilds Technical College in Finsbury, London, and for his work as an electrical engineer and author. What is possibly less well known is... Continue Reading →

The Burning Mirror of Archimedes

Amongst our S P Thompson collection of pamphlets there is a volume of pamphlets titled ‘Burning Mirror of Archimedes’, which amongst other things contains several early pamphlets on the subject. One such example is the 1732 pamphlet illustrated above, written... Continue Reading →

Mysticism in the IET Archives!

One of the volumes amongst the IET’s collection of S P Thompson’s rare books is an English translation from the Latin version of Emanuel Swedenborg’s book, ‘Principia, volume1’. This volume was originally published in 1734 (translation published in 1912). This... Continue Reading →

Hailstones in the IET Archives

The IET Archives has just received back from conservators 4 volumes of pamphlets from the Professor Silvanus P Thompson collection of pamphlets. That collection comprises many hundreds of volumes of pamphlets organised by subject. Each volume, in addition to holding... Continue Reading →

The Dollond Family – ‘Opticians to the Kings’

A volume of pamphlets titled, ‘Telescope I’ belonging to the SP Thompson collection was catalogued by the IET Archives in 2015. Even though this volume had been held in the archive collections for many decades, the cataloguing, due to the... Continue Reading →

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