Get familiar with your engineering past - research leaflet

Get familiar with
your engineering past
Put your ancestors in the picture
with the IET Archives
Was my relative an engineer?
Our heritage
The term ‘electrical engineer’ came in to existence in the
nineteenth century. Engineers were able to call themselves
civil, mechanical or electrical engineers without being a
member of the relevant institution. Engineers who were
members of an institution were entitled to use
post nominals to indicate their affiliation
and class of membership.
The IET was founded in 1871 as the Society of Telegraph
Engineers, a learned society for those involved in the
burgeoning electric telegraph industry. The society changed
its name to the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1889.
If you want to know if a person was a
member of the I.E.E look for the use
of the letters MIEE (Member), AMIEE
(Associate Member) or FIEE (Fellow).
Engineering history is rich and varied, full of innovation and
pioneering achievements. The IET’s family history records
may be able to help uncover the part your relative played and
deliver some fascinating insights into their lives and work.
The Institution amalgamated with the Institution of
Electronic and Radio Engineers (IERE) in 1988, the
Institution of Production Engineers (IMfgE/IProdE) in 1991
and the Institution of
Incorporated Engineers
in 2006, becoming the
Institution of Engineering
and Technology. It now
includes predecessor
institutions dating back
to 1854.
What information is available?
Family history records
Membership application forms can be used in a number of
ways; to search for individuals, to see geographical trends,
to trace mobility through the membership categories and
in some instances education and employment history.
 Membership records 1871-1997
Deposited personal papers can uncover engineering
achievements whilst company records can chart
developments, innovations and projects members
have worked on.
 Photographs, portraits and films
Our military records can help to learn more about an
engineer’s role during the two world wars. Some contain
biographical information such as the First World War Roll
of Honour, which holds details on the member, where they
were stationed, military action and how they died.
 Women in engineering records
The IET Archives hold a number of interesting collections
relating to women in engineering and science, education
and the importance of domestic electricity.
 Trade Directories
 Personal and company records
 Military records
Get in touch
Archive Centre
Savoy Hill House
7-10 Savoy Hill
Tel: +44 (0)20 7344 8407
Email: [email protected]
For more information please visit
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is working to engineer a better world. We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SCO38698).