The Council of the Newcomen Society recently established the Newcomen Rolt Prize, in memory of LTC Rolt (1910-1974) who played an important role in the Society and generally in developing the history of technology and industrial archaelogy. This prize, for the best paper in Transactions during the previous three years, will be awarded biannually, alternating with the Dickinson Memorial Lecture.
The second (2006) Rolt Prize has recently been awarded to Mr Malcom Thwaite for his paper entitled The George Bennie Railplane and Hugh Fraser Airrail Systems of Transport, published in Transactions Volume 75 (2005).
Mr Thwaite is an industrial designer who worked on aircraft and office interior design in the USA, later taking up lecturing posts, most recently in the Department of Historical and Critical Studies at Glasgow School of Art, a post from which he retired in 2002.
The first Rolt Prize
The first winner of the Prize was Dr Norman Smith for his paper ‘Cathedral Studies: Engineering or History?’ published in 2001.
The Prize was presented by the President at the first London meeting of the 2004 season on 13th October. The Society was delighted that LTC Rolt’s widow, Sonia Rolt, was able to be present on this occasion.