The Newcomen Centenary 2020

from Jonathan Aylen, President

The Newcomen Society was founded as a result of the James Watt (1736-1819) Centenary Celebrations in Birmingham in 1919. Its aim was to encourage study and research in the history of engineering and technology and was also keen to support the preservation of technical and biographical records.

The Society took its name from Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729), who was widely regarded as the father of the steam engine, although its interests covered the whole field of industrial activity. From the outset, the Newcomen Society maintained close links with organisations with similar interests.The original aims of the founders remain refreshingly relevant. As a reminder, we have just celebrated the bicentenary of James Watt’s death.

Now it is time to celebrate 100 years since the Newcomen Society’s first full year of operation. To this end, we have planned a series of events to run alongside our lively regular programme. The first event, a Workshop in Sheffield on Precision: Bramah and Maudslay to Advanced Manufacture has
already taken place at Kelham Island Museum and will be written up in the next issue of Newcomen Links.

The Kenneth Yeomans Local Engineering History Awards will be made to museums, libraries and archives around the country to promote the accessible display of items relating to the local history of engineering and technology

Short FilmsThe Newcomen Society is developing a series of short films on important and neglected objects in the history of engineering and technology for use in both museums and on social media