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Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths and Pattern Makers: Quarterly Reports

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0372 ASE
Held at: Bishopsgate Institute
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Full title: Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths and Pattern Makers: Quarterly Reports
Date(s): 1853-1879
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 77 volumes
Name of creator(s): Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths and Pattern Makers


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Amalgamated Society of Engineers was formed in 1851 through proposals drawn up by three unions, the Old Mechanics, the Steam Engine Makers' Society and the General Smiths. However, because some branches of the unions involved failed to ratify the amalgamation the union formed with only 5000 members (less than the membership of the Old Mechanics). Over the following year many of the societies gradually decided on formal amalgamation including the New Society of Millwrights; the Old Society of Engineers and Machinists of London; the London Smiths; the Steam Engine Makers' Society; the United Machine Workers' Asssociation; the United Kingdom Society of Amalgamated Smiths and Strikers; the Associated Brassfounders', Turners', Fitters' and Finishers' Society; the North of England Brassfounders' Society; the Amalgamated Instrument Makers' Society and the Amalgamated Society of General Toolmakers, Engineers and Machinists. By the end of 1851 the number of members had increased to 10481 and the birth of one of the most influential unions in the United Kingdom was complete. However, almost immediately the union was nearly bankrupted through the engineering lock-out of 1852 where employers demanded that workers sign a declaration stating they would not join a trade union movement. After three months the union relented and the men returned to work but from this setback the union recovered quickly (so much so that by 1861 it consisted of 236 branches). The union continued to grow in the following years until 1920 when the Amalgamated Society of Engineers along with seventeen other Unions joined together to form the Amalgamated Engineering Union.


Scope and content/abstract:

Seventy-seven volumes of handwritten quarterly report forms from branches of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths and Pattern Makers all over the country, including notes and figures on income and expenditure, membership numbers, excluded members, quarterly admissions, superannuated members, members gone abroad and the death of members or the wives (1853-1879).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The volumes are arranged chronologically.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Documents cannot be photocopied at present. Digital photography (without flash) is permitted for research purposes on completion of the Library's Copyright Declaration form and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited at the Institute as part of the George Howell Library in 1906

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library, holds the extensive archive of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, 1846-1920.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Stefan Dickers.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
8 December 2006

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