SARAH GUPPY AND HER BRIDGE PATENT No. 3405, 1811 [Guest article by Julia Elton]

Image of Sarah Guppy: by Stewy [with kind permission of Sheila Hannon, Creative Producer] Sarah Guppy (née Beach), later Mrs. Coote. Baptised 1770, died 1852 Sarah Guppy’s modern reputation rests almost entirely on the mis-interpretation of her 1811 bridge patent. As a result, she has been promoted as the precursor of the modern suspension bridge…

To Build Ships for His Majesty’s Navy – women in shipbuilding

                    For this year’s Remembrance weekend, I offer some stories about women who ran shipyards or worked in shipyards designing or building warships for the Royal Navy. This weekend we quite rightly remember the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us in time of conflict, but their service depended…

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…