The first official meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers was held on 27 January 1847 and the minutes were recorded. These handwritten minutes are held in the Institution’s archives.
Certain themes are prominent in these first minutes: the importance of sharing knowledge, the value of younger members being mentored by experienced colleagues, and the aim of creating useful inventions. The minutes record not only the formal business, but also the speeches given by prominent members after the formal business had concluded.
Most notable among the speech givers was George Stephenson, the Institution’s first president. Stephenson provided a summary of his career, emphasising the need for perseverance as an engineer – something that he stated he had required and demonstrated at various stages.
The minutes, and typed transcription, can be viewed in the institution's virtual archive here.
To find out more about the IMechE's 175 celebrations, visit the official home page.
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