Library and Archives
Library and Archives - New Discovery - Pre-WWI German Railway Signalling Equipment Catalogues
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November 5, 2013
New Discovery - Pre-WWI German Railway Signalling Equipment Catalogues
When the library and archive teams moved out of Savoy Place in the summer of 2013, and all the storage locations were, in theory, empty, a series of 'final walk- abouts' were arranged. This gave an opportunity to look at the back of cupboards, reach to the back of plan chests and get on hands and knees to see if anything remained.

Whilst there have been several smaller refurbishments over the decades of the IET's involvement with Savoy Place, this was the first complete move out of the building since the Institution of Electrical Engineers moved into the building over 100 years earlier in 1910. Perhaps unsurprisingly several items were found as a result of these searches and this is the story of two large volumes found in a basement cupboard at the back of a low shelf. These were the last two items found, on Friday 2 August 2013, before contractors moved into the building to begin strip-out work the following week.

Both volumes, in mixed condition, were trade catalogues for railway signalling equipment produced by German engineering companies between 1908 and 1910. These two catalogues were acquired at some point, perhaps directly, by Products Corporation Limited, Buchanan Buildings, EC1 which can be seen by the company's blue handstamps inside the volumes. Later the volumes were acquired by the IEE library as evidenced by library accession handstamps.

The earlier volume from 1908 (archive reference NAEST 045/439) is an A3-sized catalogue for the German company Maschinenfabrik Bruschal which was formerly called Schnabel & Henning and was founded in 1868. The catalogue, written in French, is targeted at the Swiss railway equipment market. The company, after several mergers, became fully owned by Siemens and Halske in 1941.

The later volume from 1910 (archive reference NAEST 045/440) is an A3-sized product book for the German company C Stahmer of Georgsmarienhutte which was founded in 1862. The company made railway and mining equipment and this book covers signalling equipment. The catalogue is in German. The company merged with Maschinenfabrik Bruschal in the 1914-18 period.

You can search for catalogue descriptions from deposited collections and IET records, in the IET's Archive online catalogue

Written by Jon Cable

Edited: 09 January 2014 at 02:22 PM by Mike Dunne


    Posted By: Mike Dunne @ 05 November 2013 09:30 AM     Archives  

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