There was a great turn-out at Chesterfield for the launch of Maureen Greenland and Russ Day’s new book, “Bryan Donkin: The Very Civil Engineer, 1768-1855”. The town is rightly proud of the company that Donkin created, and the legacy of technological innovation that it leaves us.
There was a slide show, the screening of a film about Donkin’s Rose Engine (dating from 1820, now housed at the Science Musuem), and we had some of those extraordinary engineering drawings on display:
We were also lucky to hear from former Donkin managing director Terry Woodhouse, who told us about his first encounters with the Donkin archive, which he was instrumental in preserving for future generations. Terry described just a few of the ideas that Bryan Donkin’s talents and perseverance were able to turn into a reality: a machine for making paper, the first cans for preserving food, more efficient nibs for pens, an anti-fraud device used in the manufacture of bank-notes. One can argue that Donkin has never been given full recognition for his achievements – that’s something that this book will undoubtedly address.