History, Aims and Objectives

Newcomen is named after Thomas Newcomen who invented the first practical working steam engine in 1712. This invention led to the great industrial and technological achievements of the modern age.

Newcomen exists to encourage study of the history of engineering and technology from ancient times to the present day.

It disseminates historical information by publications, meetings, correspondence and internet forums. It also arranges site visits.

For nearly a century it has been publishing scholarly papers on an extensive and international range of subjects including:

  • Civil, mechanical, structural, chemical, aeronautical, electrical and marine engineering
  • Inland navigation, railways, roads, bridges
  • Water supply, dock & harbour engineering, lighthouses
  • Mills and millwork
  • Stationary engines, locomotives, turbines, piston engines, steam, oil, petroleum and gas engines
  • Metallurgy, manufacturing and industrial plant, textile machinery
  • Computer engineering
  • Gas and electric lighting,  heating and ventilation, sewage and drainage, public health engineering

Newcomen also supports the collection and preservation of archival material and historical artefacts. The Society has a Conservation Policy

  • Forthcoming Events

    Nov
    15
    Thu
    2018
    7:30 pm Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) Tech... @ BRISTOL BAWA
    Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) Tech... @ BRISTOL BAWA
    Nov 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    A lecture by Chris Hodrien: Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) Technology
    Nov
    20
    Tue
    2018
    6:30 pm Development of Fleet Submarine 1... @ PORTSMOUTH Room PO 1.11, Portland Building, University of Portsmouth
    Development of Fleet Submarine 1... @ PORTSMOUTH Room PO 1.11, Portland Building, University of Portsmouth
    Nov 20 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
    A lecture by Duncan Redford: Development of Fleet Submarine 1910 – 1918The lecture is planned to be held at the University of Portsmouth commencing at 6.30p.m.  The building and room will be confirmed in due[...]
    Nov
    26
    Mon
    2018
    6:30 pm The Engineer and the Metallurgis... @ SHEFFIELD Kelham Island Museum
    The Engineer and the Metallurgis... @ SHEFFIELD Kelham Island Museum
    Nov 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:15 pm
    A lecture by Dr David Dulieu: The Engineer and the Metallurgist defeat Heat, Corrosion and Cold – 50 years of technical applications of stainless, heat and corrosion resistant high alloy steels 1913 – 1963
    Nov
    27
    Tue
    2018
    6:00 pm Cold War to Coal Trains @ MANCHESTER Museum of Science & Industry
    Cold War to Coal Trains @ MANCHESTER Museum of Science & Industry
    Nov 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    A joint meeting with the Computer Conservation Society. Please note start time of 18.00.Jonathan Aylen’s lectureJoint Meeting with Computer Conservation Society:  Cold War to Coal Trains –  TOPS – British Railways’ first computer based train[...]
    Dec
    5
    Wed
    2018
    7:00 pm From Cold War to Coal Trains: TO... @ BIRMINGHAM ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum,
    From Cold War to Coal Trains: TO... @ BIRMINGHAM ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum,
    Dec 5 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    A lecture by Jonathan Aylen This paper jointly written Jonathan Aylen, Vice President of the Newcomen Society, and Bob Gwynne of the National Railway Museum reports on British Rail’s adoption of a real-time, nationwide computer[...]
    Dec
    11
    Tue
    2018
    6:30 pm Lecture TBC @ PORTSMOUTH Room PO 1.11, Portland Building, University of Portsmouth
    Lecture TBC @ PORTSMOUTH Room PO 1.11, Portland Building, University of Portsmouth
    Dec 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
     
  • Overwhelmed by #TheyShallNotGrowOld the colouring of the film footage + the interview voiceovers convey brutality & futility of war. How did anyone survive? #PeterJackson @IWM_Centenary #WorldWar1

    Protecting the Recent Past for the Future | Historic England https://t.co/AHV5VDJpBh # via @HistoricEngland

    Am very pleased to say that I've article in Phil Trans of Royal Society A (!) available via open access

    From theory to engineering practice: shared telecommunications knowledge between Oliver Heaviside & his brother & GPO engineer Arthur West Heaviside
    https://t.co/MRSDdf6e8P

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  • Latest News

    • The Newcomen Diary

      Scroll down the Newcomen Events for the full 2019 listing.

    • Newcomen Links 247

      now published in print and on-line

    • Newcomen Links 247

      now published in print and on line.

    • White Salt Industry, booking extended to 19 October

      The symposium on the technologies associated with White Salt, organised by the NewcomenNorth, will take place at The Lion Salt Works Museum outside Northwich on 20 October. Cheshire salt was known to the Celts and the Romans, but the emergence of Cheshire into Britain’s primary salt source was dependent on the development of the local […]

    • More News...