Newcomen is named after Thomas Newcomen who invented the first practical working steam engine in 1712. This invention led to the great industrial and technological achievements of the modern age.
Newcomen exists to encourage study of the history of engineering and technology from ancient times to the present day.
It disseminates historical information by publications, meetings, correspondence and internet forums. It also arranges site visits.
For nearly a century it has been publishing scholarly papers on an extensive and international range of subjects including:
- Civil, mechanical, structural, chemical, aeronautical, electrical and marine engineering
- Inland navigation, railways, roads, bridges
- Water supply, dock & harbour engineering, lighthouses
- Mills and millwork
- Stationary engines, locomotives, turbines, piston engines, steam, oil, petroleum and gas engines
- Metallurgy, manufacturing and industrial plant, textile machinery
- Computer engineering
- Gas and electric lighting, heating and ventilation, sewage and drainage, public health engineering
Newcomen also supports the collection and preservation of archival material and historical artefacts.