Monthly Archives: December 2014

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



Revival of A Newcomen Engine


Built in 1795, at a cost of £167, the Elsecar Newcomen Engine was used to pump water out of the Elsecar Colliery for the deeper exploitation of coal .

Now nearly 220 years after it was built it sits there still, in the Yorkshire village where it was first installed; said to be one of the most important pieces of industrial heritage in the world.  Henry Ford even offered a blank cheque for its purchase in 1927…

The Newcomen Engine was invented by steam engine pioneer Thomas Newcomen of Dartmouth, South Devon. Combining the ideas of Thomas Savery and Denis Papin his original ideas were probably developed as early as 1710. He was a man described as ‘the father of the Industrial Revolution’.

Only a handful of engines survive. The earliest engines were possibly those erected at Dudley Castle (see image below), St. Newlyn East, and Wheal Vor of Cornwall.

The Newcomen Engine of Dudley Castle erected c1712

The Elsecar Engine was possibly the last commercially-used engine, but it remains unique being the last remaining in its original site; inherited back in 1795 by the Fitzwilliam family for their industrial powerhouse at Elsecar until 1923.  Other than being used as a back-up during the 1930’s, the engine has slowly faded into history, until three years ago when restoration began.

Last month, following the £500,000 restoration project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Barnsley Council and English Heritage, the engine was announced to being back to its original glory.

Visit the Elsecar Heritage Centre to learn more about the mining history of the area and see the Elsecar Newcomen Engine.

Read more about the incredible story of this piece of industrial history that helped paved the way for the industrial revolution on Grace’s Guide.