Margaret E. Knight’s internal combustion engines (and paper bags)
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1M ago
Margaret Knight in 1912, still busily at work* Margaret Eloise Knight (1838-1914) is celebrated as one of the USA’s most prolific female inventors and patent holders. I stumbled across her story, arguably more than one story, whilst picking up on a research theme I hadn’t looked at for a while: women who designed cars or parts of cars. She seems to be best known for designing a machine to make flat-bottomed paper bags, for which she is an inductee in the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame. Margaret Knight’s paper bag machine However, I want to focus here more on her later inventions relating t ..read more
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War Factory: serendipity and Mass Observation
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
7M ago
A lifelong pal phoned me to ask if I knew of a book she had just become aware of: War factory, published by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1943, using materials from the Mass Observation project. It seemed to her to be my sort of book (it is) and I vaguely thought it seemed familiar (it should have done) and that I probably had it or had had it at some point. However, as it was hiding at the back of the crowded war-work/munitions shelf, I couldnt find it and assumed I had given it away (I hadn’t). So my lovely pal noseyed around online and found that it was reprinted in 1987 by The Cresset Library, w ..read more
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Was Dulcibella the First British Woman* to Pilot an Aeroplane in an Air Race?
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
In 1923 Lord Edward Grosvenor put up a trophy for a 400-mile flying race: the “Grosvenor Challenge Cup“. The press reported that a woman was one of the entrants, thought to be the first time a woman had entered a flying race: Mrs Oliver Atkey in “a machine of the D.H. type” (Western Daily Press – Friday 15 June 1923). The time trial challenge was for British light aircraft with engines of less than 150hp and they were to fly from Lympne aerodrome in Kent. Sadly I have not found any records of how Mrs Atkey fared but the better news is that in 1955 a highly successful woman pilot – Freydis Lea ..read more
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Books about Women in STEM [part1]
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
Below is a very incomplete and un-annotated list of some of the books I have used in my research into women’s history in engineering. This is a list of some of the books which I have donated over the years to the Glasgow Women’s Library. It therefore does not include a similar number in my house which I have not donated because I use them a lot. One day I will catalogue the others! Title Authors Publisher year isbn A lifetime in the building Christine Adams, Michael McMahon Aurum 2009 9781845133962 A spanner in the works. The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first ..read more
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Finding Miss Daisy
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
Daisy Hampson, motorist and racer Daisy Hampson in her 60hp Mercedes (The Car – No. 121, September14, 1904) Amongst the many women with access to serious funds who were early motorists, racers and rally drivers was a Miss Daisy Hampson. Described by the usually very knowledgeable Speedqueens blog as ‘enigmatic’ and by an also knowledgeable audience member at one of my recent talks as a woman who seemed to vanish into thin air, I have reluctantly come to a similar conclusion. Searching the usual online sources has yielded some answers and a good many questions. As always, if you know more – do ..read more
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Jonathan Ferguson’s story – an update
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
In 2016 I published what I knew then about Jonathan Ferguson’s unusual story. Delightfully, someone who worked with him has contacted me with some further information and given permission to share it here. Jonathan’s life as a scientific civil servant, after having transitioned from female in the very early days when gender-reassignment surgery had become possible, seems to have continued remarkably ‘unremarked’. Although there was a flurry of mentions in the press at the time, his employers and colleagues seem to have no particular concerns with Jonathan’s life when he no longer ‘wore a skirt ..read more
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Winifred Pink – from racing cars to tea vans
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
Winifred in her Alvis car [from The Woman Engineer vol2] In preparing a talk* about women in automobile racing, for the 2021 annual Scottish Tour of the Vintage Sports Car Club, I was quickly submerged in the vast number of wonderful stories about amazing women. Even restricting it to just women who raced in the UK still leads to hundreds, some very well known, others perhaps more or less unknown today. The subject of this blog falls, perhaps, somewhere between those two categories. She intrigued me partly because her story is rather patchy but also because she shared with all too few of these ..read more
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The Fourth Signatory
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
The signatures in the founding document of the Women’s Engineering Society 1919 On the 23rd June 1919 seven women met to decide how they could set up an association for women who worked in engineering – the Women’s Engineering Society. The paperwork took a while but, on 19th December 1919, they all put their names on the official documents that would, on Christmas Eve, register the society with Companies House. Six of the women were well-known then and remain well-known in engineering history circles to this day. Some were married to or related to prominent male engineers of the day (Eleanor ..read more
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Our Sisters Also Served and Died – Wrens lost due to war action in WW2
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
From the Naval History Net site I have extracted this list of members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service who were killed by war action in WW2 (not including those who died due to illness or road accidents). Despite the WRNS motto “Never at sea” in fact quite a lot of women were lost at sea on their way to overseas postings. Such women would have been selected for overseas service as the very best in both competence and conduct, so their loss was especially tragic. Many Wrens served in technical roles, as they would continue to do after the war and do today in the fully integrated Royal Navy ..read more
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Building the Research about Women in Building Research
women engineers' history
by womenengineerssite
1y ago
As loyal readers may recall, some while ago I did a rather boring blog that was basically just a list of some names of women scientific civil servants I had encountered in the records of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Its merit, if any, was that some people who knew stuff about some of the women got in touch and I learnt more. Because there is always more to know. This is a similar record, this time of women who were scientific civil servants at the Building Research Station (BRS/BRE), Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL), Fire Research Station (FRS) and Ministry of Works (MoW), an ..read more
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