Category Archives: Museums and Collections

Mechanics Magazine

Mechanics Magazine

Following on from the last blog post, the team has just uploaded two early bound volumes of Mechanics’ Magazine, that were kindly loaned to us by Mr Jeal of Devizes.

Now available on Grace’s Guide in PDF format:

Volume 19 of 1832-33
Volume 20 of 1833-34

We’re always looking for early books, volumes and magazines, so please do get in touch if you own anything you’re willing to loan or send in that can help us with the project.

Exciting Historic Volumes in time for Christmas

The team at Grace’s Guide are working on a few lovely additions to the site at the moment – the early volumes of ‘The Engineering Times and Mechanics Magazine and the first volume of ‘The Autocar’.

The Autocar Title

Malcom Jeal – an established member of The Society of Automotive Historians in Britain (SAHB) kindly got in touch with us quite recently introducing a collection of very rare and immaculate bound volumes of historic reference books.

We were kindly loaned ‘The Autocar’ volume 1, ‘The Engineering Times’ volumes 1 and 2, and a couple of early volumes of ‘Mechanics’ Magazine’, which we are currently processing.

As always, we are so grateful for contributions like these and the people behind them who kindly loan precious books for our digital archives.  Rare volumes, perhaps never publicly available before, are then preserved in our digital archive and reproduced online for your pleasure and convenience.

So please do get in touch if you feel you can contribute to Grace’s Guide and we will always strive to reply to you.

We are still processing Mechanics’ Magazine journals at the moment but have a look at the volumes now available to read online below:

The Autocar 1895-1896 Volume 1

The Engineering Times 1898-1899 Dec-Jun Volume 1
The Engineering Times 1899-1900 Jul-Jan Volume 2



Interesting Telegraph Equipment – Solved!

We’ve had an interesting enquiry regarding this lovely old piece of telegraphy equipment and as our research continues we’ve uncovered some interesting answers!

We often receive e-mails from people wanting to know more about their hidden treasures or mystery antiques. Most items and any related information finds a place on the Grace’s Guide history pages and we’re often able to look up more details for our reader straight away. Sometimes however, we need to do a bit of extra research and with items like this, we’ll ask museums, collections, enthusiasts and experts to help us find the answers.

In this case we got in touch with Porthcurno Museum in Cornwall, The Central Archive of The British Museum and The Siemens organisation itself. All proposed excellent information, but the most certain came from Professor Emeritus Tom Perera of the Montclair State University. Take a look at his online telegraph museum.

He expertly identified the object as a Siemens Code Transmitter designed to send a specific message in Morse code when activated. The message in this case being “S” and “I”. Adding to this he tells us it was most likely an alarm device that sent those characters to alert the main station that an event had occurred at the site, identified by ‘I’ ‘S’ and dated it between 1890 and 1930.

Do you know anything more? If you think you can add to the story of this fascinating piece of equipment– please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you.



I have just returned from an extended tour of Australia, trying to see as many collections and local museums as possible. Everywhere we looked there was UK equipment to photograph and record and now there are more than 2,000 photographs to sort, process and to get some of them live on GG.

Every town seemed to have a little local museum and unlike the UK, they were focussed on the social history rather than dinosaurs and stuffed animals. One example in a remote village, we came across an old-timer who had collected some 250 tractors and would have kept us there all day talking about them if we hadn’t needed to push on after a couple of hours. He did have some rather special ones though and I have always thought I would like to own a Field Marshall.