2019 is the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society, founded just after the achievement of partial female suffrage in 1918, with the intention of supporting women into employment and education in the varied fields of engineering. WES has had many notable members, yet the only member who features widely in the popular historical narrative is pilot Amy Johnson.
The WES Centenary Trail aims to redress this by creating an interactive online map recording and sharing the history of WES with a wider public, building an audience for local and women’s history connected with WES from new and improved Wikipedia entries, based on research into the WES and other archives. The Wikipedia entries will be generated by volunteers, trained and engaged through Wikithons around the country and entries will be pulled through to populate the map with 200 pins to explore. The project will share these new and improved histories through local events, displays, social media and a small PR programme.
Family audiences will be engaged through a Lottie Doll tour of the WES Centenary Trail, aimed at encouraging families to think of engineering and its heritage as subjects just as interesting for girls as for boys. Follow the hashtag #WESLottieTour or if you would like to borrow a Lottie Doll to take part in the 2019 Lottie Tour please sign up here.
The WES Centenary Trail is funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
As part of the WES Centenary Trail, we are posting daily stories of women engineers who belonged to or were connected with WES on @WESCentenary on Twitter or @wes_centenary on Instagram and are using the hashtag #WES100 too.
Want to help us improve the gender balance of women and women engineers on Wikipedia? Our next Wikithon is on 18th May at LSE in London – find out more and book your place here.
Some notable WES members or women mentioned in The Woman Engineer journal with Wikipedia pages who will feature on the WES Centenary Map. Lots more to come…
In alphabetical order
Some other WES women who have online present but no Wikipedia page ... (yet!)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
In support of WES’s Centenary the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography have added four new biographies recording the lives of four of the early generation of women engineers: Eily Marguerite Leifchild Keary; Frances Beatrice Bradfield; Hilda Margaret Lyon and Beatrice Shilling.
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century and holds over 60,000 biographies. The four women engineers are released alongside 25 women from the early modern period (c.1500–1800) including a court jester, a prophetess a military leader, book collectors, travellers, recusant Catholic activists, a royal consort & a notorious adulteress. Some biographies are locked but you can log in with your local library card.
This follows on from a previous release of biographies about women connected to WES and engineering in July 2018.