The Institution of Electrical Engineers

At the General Meeting of the STE on 22 December 1880 it was decided to alter the title to reflect the changes in electrical technology of the day and was renamed The Society of Telegraph Engineers and of Electricians. At a meeting of the Council on 10 November 1887 a motion was put forward to alter the name to the Institution of Electrical Engineers to reflect its representation of the body of electrical engineers in England. On 1 January 1889 the Register of Joint Stock Companies issued his Certificate of Incorporation to the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE).

The Institution's membership increased by 170 per cent from 2,064 to 7,045 between the years 1895 and 1914 illustrating the growth of electrical activity. This expansion manifested itself when the Institution took possession of a building of its own on 1 June 1909.

Prior to this the Institution had relied on the hospitality of other Institutions to hold its meetings. However, with the financial aspect of the Institution increasing they were able to buy the remaining seventy-six years of a ninety-nine year lease, held from the Duchy of Lancaster by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, for a sum of £50,000.

The site is what is now Savoy Place, built in the 1880s. Members held their first Ordinary General Meeting there on 10 November 1910. More information is also available about the history of The Savoy and Savoy Place as well as the rooms of Savoy Place

The Charter, granted in August 1921, defined the 'objects and purposes' of the IEE in traditional terms: 'to promote the general advancement of Electrical Science and Engineering and their applications and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on those subjects among members...' Importantly, Clause 14 established the members' exclusive right to put appropriate initials after their name, especially MIEE and AMIEE, to indicate their professional qualifications.

In 1924 the IEE obtained from the Privy Council the right for corporate members to describe themselves as Chartered Electrical Engineers. The grant of the charter, fifty years after the foundation of the Society of Telegraph Engineers, confirmed its position as an organisation representing a learned profession and extending its influence in the direction of members' education, qualifications and public standing. The IEE was granted a coat of arms in 1948. It was registered as a charity in 1963.

The IET is prolific in its publishing dating back to its early days as the STE. In 1882 the first edition of the Wiring Regulations: Rules and Regulations for the Prevention of Fire Risks arising from Electric Lightingwas published. The regulations were later extended to all aspects of electric wiring, including factories and ships.

By the mid 1960s members could also subscribe toProceedings. Students were catered for in theStudent's Quarterly Journal.
The Institution also published other works including periodicals, conference reports and careers booklets. In January 1964 the IEE News appeared which was a monthly house newsletter devoted to the Institution's work. Separate to the Institution's publications services but run in partnership with the Physical Society and then later with the Institute of Physics and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers was Science Abstracts.

After the First World War, the crisis in technical education in Britain led to the Institution accrediting technical courses at colleges and universities. By 1930, Graduate members were required to have a recognised qualification or to have passed the IEE examination. This led to the Institution accrediting a wide range of degree courses.

Information taken from two of the IEE's official histories by Rollo Appleyard (1939) and W. J. Reader (1987) both can be found in the Library catalogue.