IET Archives Blog

Stories from the Institution of Engineering and Technology



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 →

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 →

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 →

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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Lost British Cinemas and their Original Lighting by British Thomson-Houston

The following images, taken in 1913, come from our collection of British Thomson-Houston (BTH) images, and focus on some of those then newly built cinemas that have not survived to the present day. They show some of the first installations... Continue Reading →

Westminster Abbey – King George V Coronation Electric Lighting, 1911

With the impending wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018 at Windsor Castle, we thought it would be an appropriate time to revisit one of the more unusual items in the IET Archive collections relating to... Continue Reading →

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