Back in the 1800s and early 1900s, Britain led the world in engineering and manufacturing. The country gained the nickname "The Workshop of the World."

Now a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London celebrates Britain's many engineering feats in the exhibition "Dan Dare & The Birth Of Hi-Tech Britain."

The Eagle comics of the 1950s, which featured Dan Dare, often had extremely detailed diagrams of the many great machines that Britain gave to the world.

Britain invented the trains and the railways - and below is a wonderful diagram of a "Battle of Britain Class" locomotive that was launched in Britain in 1946, as shown in a Dan Dare comic.

Also shown is an RAF Vulcan bomber, that was able to carry and drop nuclear bombs, and helped Britain to defeat Argentina during the Falklands War in 1982, and a Fairey Rotodyne, the world's first vertical take-off airliner, which Britain introduced in 1957.

Welcome back to Eagle comic's amazing cut-away diagrams that delighted schoolboys as much as Dan Dare

9th May 2008
Daily Mail

When Dan Dare first powered his way on to the pages of the Eagle comic in 1950, his heroic exploits were an immediate sensation, as schoolboys up and down the land marvelled at tales of his intergalactic derring-do.

Yet equally popular as the cartoons of the square-jawed hero were the wonderfully detailed diagrams that filled the centre pages of the comic.

Ranging from designs of aircraft and locomotives through to missiles, battleships and atomic power stations, these cross-section drawings revealed the inner workings of ground-breaking technological developments in a way that was explosive, educational and exciting. And the details reflected an age when youngsters had a thirst for knowledge. For a generation of schoolboys enthralled by these visions of engineering marvels, these pictures proved an inspiration.

Here was proof not only that the future had arrived, but that Britain was playing a leading role ushering it in. The Eagle had a number of artists who worked on these cutaways, but chief among them was L. Ashwell Wood, who drew for the comic throughout its reign.

A new exhibition at the Science Museum, Dan Dare & The Birth Of Hi-Tech Britain, pays tribute to these awe-inspiring illustrations, and to a time when Britain was an innovative, manufacturing powerhouse.