Welcome to the Newcomen website

* Newsflash *

Swords into Ploughshares Conference

Booking is now open for this Newcomen Conference on 24 October. Further information at: http://newcomen.com/?page_id=116

The Newcomen Society

The Newcomen Society  was founded in 1920. and is the oldest society in the world specialising in the history of engineering and technology. Since 1920 it has published over a 1000 papers which are an invaluable archive of original research material for historians and available on-line. The  Society takes its name from Thomas Newcomen (bap. 1664, d.1729) who invented the first practical working steam engine, but its interests are broad and international, embracing all aspects of engineering from ancient times and the great inventions of the 18th and 19th centuries through to the sophisticated technologies of the 20th century and into the digital age.

Website & Archive

The Newcomen Past Papers Archive is now fully accessible on-line and free to members.  Access to the archive is based on the ability to sign in to the system and this in turn requires you have both valid membership and working email address. To sign in, go to the top right hand corner of this page. In the event that you do not have an email address, the Society recommends you go to www.gmail.com and create a free email account and then advise The Newcomen Society of your email address by emailing it to the Membership Secretary at: membership@newcomen.com

Guests can preview the papers and purchase, for a small fee, if interested.  To visit the Past Papers Archive please click here . The new system is also based upon the use of an email address as this will in turn enable the Society to deliver a much improved service, and over time, additional facilities. If you come across any specific issues in accessing the archive please email office@newcomen.com


  • Forthcoming Events

    5:30 pm Development of satellite navigation technology. Joint meeting with Computer Conservation Society @ MOSI
    Development of satellite navigat… @ MOSI
    Sep 22 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
    Air Commodore Norman Bonnor will lecture on The Development of Satellite Navigation Technology. Satellite navigation has changed the way we drive, but it has its [...]
    7:00 pm The Imaginative Geography of the Great Western Railway 1897-1947 @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    The Imaginative Geography of the… @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    Oct 7 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    A lecture by Dr.Matt Thompson. There is a pay-bar in the building which may be serving snacks and drinks before the meeting. A pub across [...]
    9:10 am Swords into Ploughshares, a Newcomen Conference @ The Gallery
    Swords into Ploughshares, a Newc… @ The Gallery
    Oct 24 @ 9:10 am – 5:00 pm
    Cost £30 including lunch. To book, please contact office@newcomen.com Programme 9.10 – 9.30              Registration and Coffee 9.35 – 9.50              Welcome and Opening Remarks: Dr Bryan [...]
    6:30 pm The growth of motoring in the North-West @ MOSI
    The growth of motoring in the No… @ MOSI
    Oct 27 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    Dr Craig Horner  will cover the early development of the motor car including steam and electric cars, drawing on a unique archive of early registrations [...]
    7:00 pm TechnologyTransfer in the Early Industrial Revolution @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    TechnologyTransfer in the Early … @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    Nov 4 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    A lecture by Professor Jennifer Tann. There is a pay-bar in the building which may be serving snacks and drinks before the meeting. A pub [...]
    5:45 pm Brunel’s Fan- His Locomotive Draught Experiments of 1840/41 @ Director's Suite
    Brunel’s Fan- His Locomotive Dra… @ Director's Suite
    Nov 11 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
    A lecture by Michael Bailey. This is a joint event with the SLS.
    2:00 pm Making Arcs and Sparks at Discovery @ Discovery Museum
    Making Arcs and Sparks at Discovery @ Discovery Museum
    Nov 18 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Making Arcs and Sparks at Discovery – new access to our new Electrical Collection, a lecture by John Clayson
    6:30 pm Branch AGM & First Waltz: development and deployment of Blue Danube, Britain’s post-war atomic bomb @ MOSI
    Branch AGM & First Waltz: develo… @ MOSI
    Nov 24 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
    Jonathan Aylen  will reveal  the untold story of the practical development of UK nuclear weapons based on interviews with those involved – a story markedly [...]
    7:00 pm Frank Hornby and Mechanical Toys – Britain, Germany and the USA, 1880-1950 @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    Frank Hornby and Mechanical Toys… @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    Dec 2 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    A lecture by Deborah Jaffé.  The entrepreneurial Frank Hornby was the inventor of  Meccano, The Hornby Railway and Dinky Cars. Deborah Jaffé  looks at the [...]
    5:45 pm The Great Wall of Butterley @ Director's Suite
    The Great Wall of Butterley @ Director's Suite
    Dec 9 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
    A lecture by Tim Castledine
    7:00 pm The Development of Household Technology in the Black Country @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    The Development of Household Tec… @ Birmingham Science Museum, Thinktank,
    Jan 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    A lecture by David Eveleigh. There is a pay-bar in the building which may be serving snacks and drinks before the meeting. A pub across [...]

    View Calendar

  • Latest News

    • CFP Technology, Environment and Modern Britain (1 December 2015)

      This is a call for papers for a workshop that will explore the intersections of history of technology and environmental history in modern British contexts. “It can be difficult to write environmental history without paying at least passing attention to technology”, noted Jeffrey K. Stine and Joel A. Tarr over a decade ago, in a […]

    • NewcomenLinks 234

      The June issue has now been published and available on-line to members.

    • Lance Day

      The Society is saddened to record the death of Lance Day who was a past Editor of The Transactions of the Newcomen Society and Keeper of The Science Museum Library (1976-87). Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

    • James Watt’s Separate Condenser

      was invented 250 years ago in May 1765. To mark this the a conference will be held in Glasgow on 5 June. The Newcomen Society will have a stand too. Further information and booking at The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame  www.engineeringhalloffame.org/wattsthestory.html

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