For five weeks in April/May this year we had a German placement student working with us at the collections.  During his time with us Daniel used The Engineer to research the work of Thomas Edison and the results will appear here as a series of three posts; starting with the short introduction to The Engineer below.

Our Holdings start in 1863 and continue, with a few gaps, until the 1960s.


The Engineer was founded in London in January 1856 by Edward Charles Healy, at a high point of British economic manufacturing power. It soon became one of the leading titles in it’s field, publishing inventions and patents alongside economic news and commodity prices.

The Engineer online platform, was introduced in 2006 and on the the 16th July of 2012 the journal announced its final print edition, however, after 12 months The Engineer returned as a monthly print magazine in September 2013 and continues its tradition of reporting on the latest developments in engineering, covering:

Engineer poster from 1906


  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Defence and Security
  • Electronics and Communications
  • Energy and Environment
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Medical and Healthcare
  • Government and Business
  • Rail and Marine

This makes the work a valuable historical resource for the study of British economic history and gives anyone interested a unique insight into the technology-rich past of the United Kingdom and the wider world.

Although many inventions, innovations and patents were published in The Engineer, not many were as significant as some that were discovered by Thomas Edison.  Among his most famous achievements are the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

To be continued…..
Image from Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International