Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,170 pages of information and 233,417 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1754 William Shipley set up the Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce from a first meeting in a coffee house in Covent Garden, London.
Shipley believed that the creativity of ideas could enrich social progress - this was eflected in a diversity of awards offered by the Premium Award Scheme. For the first 100 years the Society encouraged innovation and excellence through this scheme in six areas - Agriculture, Manufacture, Chemistry, Mechanics, Polite Arts, Colonies and Trade.
The Society's long lasting commitment to education ranged from being one of the first to promote improvement in girl’s education, which led to the establishment of Girls’ Public Day Schools, the first public examination system and continues today with a growing family of RSA Academy schools.
1760 Offered a prize for the best model of a tide mill in order to encourage greater understanding of the technology in Britain.
Offered awards for the reduction of smoke emissions as early as 1770
1908 Gained the right to use the name Royal Society of Arts
1980 responsible for the first recorded use in an environmental context of the word ‘sustainability’
Continues to be concerned about environmental sustainability through its Great Recovery Programme.