Reference number
  • ASE
  • 1825-1920
  • Collection
  • Executive Council minutes, 1852-1917; General Council and Delegate Meeting Minutes, 1896-1902; Minor Committee Minutes 1878-1912; Finance Committee Minute Books 1894-1900; Investment Committee Minute Books 1900-1920; General Office Accounts 1888-1911; Annual Branch Balance Sheets 1853-1919; Quarterly and Half Yearly Branch balance Sheets 1851-1920; Benevolent Fund and Fine Books 1879-1947; General Information Schedules 1876; Correspondence 1851-1913; Monthly Reports, Journals and Annual Reports 1851-1920; Rule Books 1854-1915; District and Branch Papers (Airdrie 1895-1897; Bridgend 1885-1906; Brighton 1840-1893; Chadderton 1871-1910; Crewe 1891-1917; Drogheda 1855-1895; Faversham 1859-1884; Greenock 1831-1863; Keighley 1886-1895; Manchester 1867; Pontypool 1881-1922; Rhondda 1894-1926; Staines 1881-1919; Sunderland 1892-1898; Saltley 1908-1932; Stockton 1882-1893; Stockport 1831-1861; Southwark 1863 - 1868; Todmorden 1825-1888; Two Waters 1855-1888); William Crosher and Co Papers 1877-1901; Apprenticeship Certificates 1911-1916; Circulars and Leaflets 1874-1900; Voting Returns 1888; Membership Registration Books 1831-1932; Members' Transfer Books 1871-1890; Membership Cards 1874-1962; Members' Clearance Forms 1864-1917; Presentations to members 1919-1920; Title Deeds for Headquarters at Peckham 1784-1914; Building Works 1899-1912; Initiation Addresses 1851-1900s; Miscellaneous Documents 1851-1918; Press Cuttings 1900s-1913; Reports 1888-1914; Statistics 1900; photographs, 1885-1920.
  • 172 boxes (171 [MSS.259), 1 [932])
Admin 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 10,481 and the birth of one of the most influential unions in the United Kindom 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 in 1920 when the Amalgamated Society of Engineers joined seventeen other Unions to form the Amalgamated Engineering Union.

    Reference: James B Jefferys The Story of the Engineers (London, 1945; repr. 1970).
  • This collection has been weeded for duplicates.
Finding aids
  • A copy of this catalogue is available at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources.

    Authority files exist for the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (GB 0152 AAR0550); the Amalgamated Engineering Union (1920-1967) (GBR 0152 AAR520); the Amalgamated Engineering Union (1986-1992) (GBR 0152 AAR511); the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (GBR 0152 AAR510) the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (GBR 0152 AAR152) and the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers (GBR 0152 AAR519).
Access Conditions
  • There are no restrictions on access to these papers.
Access status
  • Open
Related Material
  • These papers constitute part of a large collection of related papers that have been deposited in the Modern Records Centre over a long period of time. For a full listing of these Trade Unions see (MSS.259/UMB).
  • Steam Engineers Labor Unions Great Britain
Physical description
  • This paper collection is in good condition.