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Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Mary Evans Picture Library are delighted to represent images from the archive of the venerable and prestigious Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The Institution was founded in 1847 with its first meeting of 56 engineers and manufacturers at the Queen's Hotel, Birmingham. George Stephenson, the railway pioneer, was elected its first President. In 1877 the decision was taken to move the Institution to London, and land was identified at Storey's Gate, later 1 Birdcage Walk, on which a dedicated home could be constructed. It opened in 1899, a magnificent late Victorian building with state of the art features such as a telephone and an Otis electric lift. The first 1000 images from the Institution's archive are available via our website, including plans and blueprints, photographs of engineering marvels and portraits of illustrious engineers. The technical drawings in particular, of early locomotives, steam machines and canal boats have a precise, unique and balanced beauty all their own.