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Brunel in Context

There are a number of websites providing inspirational and professional guidance, and historical information on engineering. Among these are:

Afrikan Science

A website for 7-15 year olds raising the profile of the contribution towards science, engineering and technology by Afrikan heritage people.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers:
Mechanical Engineering Biographies
Providing brief biographies from Archimedes to Linus Yale.

Engineering Our Future
A framework of resources, activities and events motivating pupils to experience for themselves the excitement of science and technology through engineering.

IEEE Virtual Museum
A website managed by the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that explores the history of technologies.

National Society of Black Engineers
A US website for a student-managed membership organisation seeking to increase the number of ‘culturally responsible Black engineers’.

Planet Science
A NESTA-managed website for children who study science and those who support them that includes information on engineering.

Women’s Engineering Society
A UK group promoting the education, training and practice of engineering among women.

Many archives, including county record offices, have searchable entries on the Access to Archives site at which might include relevant material.

BBC produced two major series referring to Brunel – Seven Wonders of the Industrial World and The Great Britons. Neither is available on video at present. Check future availability at BBC Worldwide:

A number of videos for rail enthusiasts showing journeys and locomotives in the South West are available including:

British Steam – The West Somerset Railway (2003) Artsmagic Ltd

Classic Trains – The West Somerset Railway (1995) Rands Video Ltd

The Railway Age (1999) Castle Home Video

Scenic Railway Journeys – Britain: South West (no date) Artsmagic Ltd

Steam in the West (1985) Odyssey Video

Great Western Railway commissioned six
promotional films between 1930 and 1949, the most ambitious being Romance of the Railway (1935) directed by Walter Creighton and starring Carl Harbard as Brunel and Donald Wolfit as Daniel Gooch, which includes a detailed survey of the Swindon locomotive works. Other films included a travelogue of the Cornish coast called Cornwall: the Western Land (1938). These two films, along with British Transport Films’ West Country Journey (1953) were part of a touring programme organised by Paddington Films in conjunction with Picture House Cinemas. For more details email

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