This small collection of machines and engines and approximately 2,000 technical drawings relates to the work of the engineer and inventor Anthony George Maldon Michell (1870–1959). A.G.M. Michell studied Civil and Mining Engineering at the University of Melbourne, where he graduated with first-class honours (B.C.E., 1895; M.C.E., 1899). He achieved fame with the invention of the Michell Thrust Bearing, which enabled the building of larger and faster ships. He also invented a centrifugal pump (patented 1901), a viscometer and a scheme for hydrolic power transmission. At the age of 80 he published The Principles of Lubrication.
Another significant invention of Michell's was a crankless engine, which he patented in 1917. Three years later he established Crankless Engines (Australia) Pty Ltd to develop the design, manufacture prototypes and secure licences from overseas manufacturers for large-scale production of the engine. The company ceased operations in Melbourne in 1928.
The centrepiece of the Michell collection at the University is a crankless automobile engine manufactured in 1922, which is on long-term loan to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering. The technical drawings for the crankless engine, along with a small amount of other archival material, are held by the University of Melbourne Archives.