Newcomen Society

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The Newcomen Society

The Newcomen Society logo.svg

Logo of the Newcomen Society
Named after Thomas Newcomen
Formation 1920
Type Learned society
Purpose Promotion and study of the history of engineering and technology
Headquarters The Science Museum
Official language

The Newcomen Society is an International learned society that promotes and celebrates the history of engineering and technology. It was founded in London in 1920 and takes its name from Thomas Newcomen, one of the inventors associated with the early development of the steam engine and who is widely considered the "father of the Industrial Revolution".

International is an adjective meaning "between nations".

A learned society is an organisation that exists to promote an academic discipline, profession, or a group of related disciplines such as the arts. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honour conferred by election.

Engineering applied science

Engineering is the application of knowledge in the form of science, mathematics, and empirical evidence, to the innovation, design, construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, software, devices, systems, processes, and organizations. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of applied mathematics, applied science, and types of application. See glossary of engineering.

The motto of the Society is the Latin actorum memores simul affectamus agenda, meaning "mindful of things that have taken place, at the same time we strive after things yet to be done". The choice of a griffin regardant for the logo was to symbolise vigilance and looking backward while going forward.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Griffin Legendary animal

The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and sometimes an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds by the Middle Ages the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, Griffins were known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.

The Newcomen Society is based at the Science Museum in London. There are regional branches in England: Midlands (Birmingham), North West (Manchester), North East (Newcastle), Western (Bristol) and Southern (Portsmouth), and one in Scotland (Glasgow and Edinburgh).

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is also the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, and is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Newcastle upon Tyne City and metropolitan borough in England

Newcastle upon Tyne, commonly known as Newcastle, is a city in Tyne and Wear, North East England, 103 miles (166 km) south of Edinburgh and 277 miles (446 km) north of London on the northern bank of the River Tyne, 8.5 mi (13.7 km) from the North Sea. Newcastle is the most populous city in the North East, and forms the core of the Tyneside conurbation, the eighth most populous urban area in the United Kingdom. Newcastle is a member of the UK Core Cities Group and is a member of the Eurocities network of European cities.

The Society is concerned with all branches of engineering: civil, mechanical, electrical, electronic, structural, aeronautical, marine, chemical and manufacturing as well as biography and invention.

Civil engineering engineering discipline and economic branch specialising in design, construction and maintenance of the built environment

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways. Civil engineering is traditionally broken into a number of sub-disciplines. It is considered the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

Mechanical engineering engineering discipline and economic branch

Mechanical engineering is the discipline that applies engineering, physics, engineering mathematics, and materials science principles to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines.

Electrical engineering field of engineering that deals with electricity

Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the later half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electric power distribution and use. Subsequently, broadcasting and recording media made electronics part of daily life. The invention of the transistor, and later the integrated circuit, brought down the cost of electronics to the point they can be used in almost any household object.

It publishes the International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology (formerly the Transactions of the Newcomen Society) and Newcomen Links, a quarterly newsletter. An online archive of previous Transactions is also available to members of the Society.

An American branch was established in 1923, but the Newcomen Society of the United States was entirely separate from its UK counterpart in 2007, when the chairman and trustees announced its closure.

Newcomen Society of the United States

The Newcomen Society of the United States was a non-profit educational foundation for "the study and recognition of achievement in American business and the society it serves." It was responsible for more than 1,600 individual histories of organizations, from corporations to colleges, which were distributed to libraries and its membership. In 2007, the chairman and trustees announced the society's closure.

Notable members

Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt was a prolific English writer and the biographer of major civil engineering figures including Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Thomas Telford. He is also regarded as one of the pioneers of the leisure cruising industry on Britain's inland waterways, and as an enthusiast for both vintage cars and heritage railways.

Sir Alec Westley Skempton was an English civil engineer internationally recognised, along with Karl Terzaghi, as one of the founding fathers of the engineering discipline of soil mechanics. He established the soil mechanics course at Imperial College London, where the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department's building was renamed after him in 2004, and was knighted in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to engineering. He was also a notable contributor on the history of British civil engineering.

Hugh Pembroke Vowles British engineer

Hugh Pembroke Vowles was a British engineer, socialist and author.

Coordinates: 51°29′51″N0°10′29″W / 51.49750°N 0.17472°W / 51.49750; -0.17472

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The Newcomen Memorial Engine is a preserved beam engine in Dartmouth, Devon. It was preserved as a memorial to Thomas Newcomen, inventor of the beam engine, who was born in Dartmouth.

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