Hilda Lyon – airships, windtunnels and submarines

Hilda Margaret Lyon MA., MSc., AFRAeS. (1896-1946) Hilda in the 1930s Hilda Margaret Lyon was born in Market Weighton in 1896, into a family of farmers and grocers. She had 4 older siblings but, out of the whole family, she seems to have been the only one to have travelled and lived out of the…

Women building London’s transport infrastructure

Does anyone know who this woman is? Santa brought me a fascinating box-set from the BFI’s archives of the British Transport Film Collection: “Experiment Under London“. This is a set of 5 “Reports” on the processes and progress of building the Victoria Line in the 1960s. Although clearly meant for the general public, and presented…

Some Eponymous Women

This blogpost will be a bit of a break from my usual fare of biographical notes about interesting women engineers of the past. Today I want to consider women whose names have become attached to things or concepts: Eponymous Women. A few months ago I wrote in to “Feedback” – the page of humorous oddities…

Margaret Law – Pioneer in Fire Safety Engineering (1928-2017)

Usually, in this blog, I am writing about women of the more distant past, but today I want to introduce you to Margaret Law who died last month. I am embarrassed to say that I hadn’t previously heard of her until the obituary notes popped up on the internet. Born in about 1928, Margaret gained…

Dorothée Pullinger and the Paisley Connection

Dorothée Pullinger, nowadays celebrated for her pioneering work as an engineer, car producer and entrepreneur, has generally been more associated with the Dumfries area of Scotland where she worked after the First World War before moving to London and then Guernsey. However, to understand how she came to be so successful in those later moves…

“A Hot Topic These Days….”

The title for this post is a quote from the first sentence of a blog from Serious Engineering, which lead me to think that perhaps lots of people think it is a ‘new’ thing and a ‘problem’ that needs to be cured by changing the girls and women. Whilst not unique to the UK, this…

Joy Ferguson and Jonathan Ferguson

In the strange way that seems to happen quite often when you are rootling around in the dusty papers of archives, I have recently stumbled upon another very unusual woman* who was a pioneer in her work and her life. I found a mention of Joy Ferguson in a slim folder of press cuttings in…

Letting The Women In – When did engineering organisations first admit women?

The early history of women becoming professional engineers in the UK, at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is full of the barriers and gatekeepers which had to be passed before women could get in. Obviously, getting the education was one barrier but another was that the professionalisation of engineering brought about…