Luxcrete: an invention that brought daylight to dark Victorian buildings @ LONDON Alan Baxter Gallery
Oct 11 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm

Luxfer 1905 P63A lecture by Ian Edwards. The origins of Luxcrete can be traced back more than 100 years to a British inventor based in the States who patented a product in the 1880s that used refraction of natural light to illuminate dark Victorian buildings. This system  performance was further enhanced by the prominent physics professor and spectroscopist Henry H Crew and leading light engineer Olin H Basquin.  Basquin developed the product by establishing the brightness of the Chicago sky for calculations to design prisms and is still credited with being the first person to record daylight measurements scientifically. The eminent American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed many of the early prisms used in the system to transfer the daylight. First established in the UK in 1898 under license, the Luxfer British Prism Syndicate (Lux=light fer = to carry) was created and the modern system of borrowed lighting was introduced to Dickensian London. The Edwards family first became involved with Luxfer in the early twentieth century and continued the connection through Cyril and Ian Edwards to Luxcrete. Luxfer developed a large range of products from pavement lights to art and stained glass windows, wartime munitions and a joint venture with Crittall Windows.

Ian Edwards joined Luxcrete in 1969 and gained experience in various departments before being appointed Contracts Manager in 1972 and in 1977 Contracts Director in 1977 and  Managing Director on 1982 and remained in that role until the business was sold in 2008. He acted as a BSI appointed UK delegate to serving on the CEN and ISO working groups drafting product standards.


The SS Great Britain: a fresh image @ LONDON Dana Studio
Nov 8 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm

A lecture by Malcolm Bishop

Understanding the Gas Industry’s Evolution and Environmental Legacy – using high resolution analysis of gas tars @ LONDON Dana Studio,
Dec 13 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Made in Britain: an oral history of British applied science and engineering @ LONDON: The Dana Studio,
Jan 10 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm

A lecture by Dr Sally Horrocks and Dr Tom Lean

The Development of the Engineering Drawing Office @ LONDON: The Dana Studio,
Feb 14 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Changing Waterscapes: managing water in 18th-century London @ LONDON: The Dana Studio,
Mar 14 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
The Dickinson Memorial Lecture: Measuring greatness: engineering biography- scholarship, hagiography or a marketing tool? @ LONDON: The Dana Studio, Wellcome Wolfson Building,
May 9 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm

The Dickinson Memorial Lecture will be given by Mike Chrimes. the title of his lecture is Measuring greatness: engineering biography- scholarship, hagiography or a marketing tool?

Mike Chrimes is a long-standing member of the Newcomen Society, serving on its Council and acting as Reviews Editor for many years. He is currently involved in the inter-societal organising committee for the Early Main Line Railway Conference, 2018. He became interested in the history of engineering through his work in the Library of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a concern over the paucity and meagerness of the literature of the subject. He has written and lectured extensively on the history of civil engineering, including contributions to The Civil Engineers (2011), and The Contractors (2014) with Hugh Ferguson. Hugh and Mike are now working on The Consultants. From 1996 Mike was involved with ICE’s Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers Project, which resulted in 3 volumes covering the periods 1500-1830 (2002); 1830-1890  (2008) and 1890-1920 (2014). Other books include Civil engineering 1839-1889 (1991); The Civil engineering of canals and railways (1997); Historic concrete (with Sutherland and Humm) (2002) and Robert Stephenson– (with Michael Bailey) (2003). Mike has written numerous papers and served on English Heritage’s Industrial Archaeology Panel. In 2007 Mike’s historical contribution was recognised with the American Society of Civil Engineers History and Heritage Award. He has had a long career, at the ICE,  providing information on civil engineering. A belief in the capability of the internet and digital communications to deliver better, and better value, knowledge transfer for all members was fundamental to this. His service for ICE was recognised by the award of the Garth Watson medal in 1996, and again in 2014, and the Spirit of Telford Award in 2007 and was awarded an MBE in January 2011 for services to engineering.



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