frequently asked questions
Here are the answers
to the questions we get asked most often.
The site is in a state of continual development,
with new entries and features being
added all the time.
If you have a particular question or
have encountered a particlar problem with the operation of the site, you can contact the site administrator by sending a message to
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engineering timelines
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What is an engineering timeline and
how do I create one?
An engineering timeline is the name we have given to a combination of items or events in the history of engineering that can be located on a map. Our timelines consist of a chronological list plus a map showing locations. Timelines link elements of engineering history across time and place.
Here is an example of a timeline.
If you clicked on that link, you will have found yourself on a page listing all the items we have by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. On the left is a list ot items, and you'll notice that 10 are shown out of the possible total. On the right is a map showing the locations of those 10 items. If you choose the next group of results, they will be mapped instead.
To create your own timeline, you can either ...
(1) make a search ... or (2) click on a contextual link
To make a search, use the  explore ... WHERE  page to search on combinations of criteria, such as engineer names, dates, etc.
Contextual links look like this ... Everything built ... 1803 - 1859. They are created automatically and occur throughout the site. Click on one that interests you and a timeline will be assembled for you.
You can find out more about any item by clicking on its name.
Why can't I find the item I am looking for?
Probably because we haven't written an entry for it yet. There are hundreds of thousands of engineering works in the UK and, of course, the number is always increasing. The website is in a state of continual evolution and we add new entries all the time.
Because the site exists to emphasize the contribution of engineering to our history and our world, entries are engineering-led. That's also why it can take a little more time and research to find the information we need. The engineering details of even famous works are often not mentioned by most sources and facts about the lives of well-known engineers can be scanty or obscure.
You're welcome to help. As long as you can supply complete and accurate data, we will be happy to receive your submission. Please note that entries are edited and checked.
Contact us by email at
How do I find items near a particular place?
Simplest of all, if the item you want is in the UK, you can click on the region you're interested in on the OS grid map on the left side of the  explore ... WHERE  page. This will result in a timeline of all items in that grid.
For a more targeted result, use the lower half of the search panel. Tick location. Now you have the option to search under nearest town, region or OS grid reference.
Not getting a result for the nearest town you want? ... Try a nearby bigger town or city, or search the region, as above — Items in the database are linked to the largest town or city in an area even if it's quite far away. Regions are listed in the search panel.
Why are the historical periods included?
An understanding of historical periods is one element of the history syllabus of the UK National Curriculum. We've linked items in engineering history to names frequently used for these periods so that this site can be used to research school projects.
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