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The Newcomen Society

    Naturevolume 130pages469470 (1932) | Download Citation



    THE Newcomen Society for the study of the history of engineering and technology has just published its tenth volume of Transactions, containing the papers read during the year 1929–30, various notes and contributions, and a subject list of books and pamphlets relating to the history of technology, 1931–32. To mark the completion of ten years' labour, the Council has included in this volume a complete index to the whole of the Transactions and also an index to the various bibliographies. Both these indexes should prove of great use. As usual, the papers and notes cover a very wide field, ranging from ancient civilisations to the first steam engine in America and bell-founding; while the printing and illustrations leave little to be desired. The Society's financial position is sound, and the membership has increased slightly; more than a quarter of the members reside in the United States, Each year the Society holds a short summer meeting in the provinces, and it never fails in bringing to light the existence of historical industrial sites or directing attention to the industrial history of the district in which it meets. From time to time it has either taken the initiative or cooperated in the commemoration of the centenaries of eminent engineers and inventors, and we understand it has already taken steps which should ensure the proper recognition of the centenary of the great Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick, who died in 1833. Trevithick died in poverty at Dartford and lies in an unknown grave, but in 1883, through the action of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a window in his memory was erected in Westminster Abbey. He was one of the most gifted inventors who ever lived, while as an engineer he was the pioneer of the high-pressure steam engine, and this at a time when the authority of Watt, who would have nothing to do with high pressures, was almost world-wide.

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