In December, the Cambridge Digital Library launched the presentation of a remarkable collection item from the Peterhouse modern archives. The Whittle Power Jet papers chronicle the development of the turbo-jet engines of the Second World War. The papers are largely made up of internal communications from within British Thomson-Houston, a company that played a critical role in making Sir Frank Whittle’s jet engine designs a reality. Digitising this extensive file of documentation preserves the content of this fascinating and often fragile material and makes it widely accessible to scholars and enthusiasts for the jet engine.
Sir Frank Whittle was sent to Cambridge as a mature student by the RAF and entered Peterhouse in 1934, completing his degree with a first after only two years. It was shortly after this time that Whittle co-founded Power Jets Ltd., the company that then sub-contracted British Thomson-Houston.
The acquisition, cataloguing and digitising of the Whittle Power Jet papers was made possible by the generosity of Peterhouse alumni. To view the papers and read a more detailed introduction to their content and context go to the Cambridge Digital Library: Peterhouse collection.