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…

Miss Benest and Miss Griff – two women or one?

I have recently been honoured to be asked by the publishers of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography to write proposals for two women in the early history of women working as engineers in the UK: Margaret Rowbotham and Cleone de Hevingham Griff. From my general gathering of information (I have some 400 women engineers…

The Baker-Michaelson Collection of books on women in STEM

The following collection of about 200 books have been donated by myself and my friend Dr Rosa Michaelson to the Lovelace-Drummond section on women in STEM at the Glasgow Women’s Library. We also donated a lot of ‘grey materials’ – reports and so on which are often not allocated ISBNs and often don’t get archived…

Daphne Jackson (1936-91)

In my (very slow) work indexing the names of all the women mentioned in the Women’s Engineering Society’s journal,  The Woman Engineer since 1919, I have just found the first mention of Daphne  Jackson, in Volume 10, issue 2 of 1966. She is listed as just having joined the society in the Member grade: “Miss…

Caroline Haslett, DBE, on Equality

“Assume equality. Don’t be apologetic. Men are quick to sense it and to take advantage. Don’t try to be both a business-woman and a housewife. Hire somebody to mend your stockings. Men in executive positions have learned to travel comfortably. Learn to do the same. Don’t waste your energy on small things.” [from a biography…