Dorothée Pullinger

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Dorothée Aurélie Marianne Pullinger, MBE (13 January 1894 – 28 January 1986) was a pioneering automobile engineer and businesswoman.

Dorothée Aurélie Marianne Pullinger
Pullinger-150x150.jpg
Born (1894-01-13)13 January 1894
Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie, Seine Inférieure, France
Died 28 January 1986(1986-01-28) (aged 92)
St Peter Port, Guernsey, UK
Nationality British
Fields Automobile engineer and businesswoman
Institutions Arrol-Johnston
Vickers
White Service Laundries Ltd
Normandy Laundries
Notable awards MBE


Early life[edit]

Born in Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie, Seine Inférieure, France, she was the eldest of the eleven children of the engineer Thomas Charles Pullinger (1867–1945), and his wife, Aurélie Berenice, née Sitwell (1871–1956). She was educated at Loughborough High School after the family moved to the UK when she was eight. In 1910, she began work as a draftsperson at the Paisley works of Scottish automobile firm of Arrol-Johnston, the oldest and largest Scottish car manufacturer,[1] where her father, a well-known car designer, was now managering director.[2]

World War I and Munitions Manufacturing[edit]

Dorothée Pullinger remained at the Arrol-Johnston until the start of World War I when it changed from producing cars to airplanes. She was appointed Femal Supervisor of the very large munitions facility operated by Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness, where women were employed in the manufacture of high explosive shells.[1] In 1916, her father created a new munitions facility at Arrol-Johnston near Kirkcudbright which included an engineering college for women and an apprenticeship program.[3]

Galloway Motors and Automobile Manufacturing[edit]

After the war, she returned to Scotland where the munitions facility was converted back to the manufacture of automobiles and was renamed Galloway Motors Ltd, where she was a director and manager. The company produced a car, the Galloway, for Arrol-Johnson that was designed for women. The company employed a largely female work force under Pullinger's direction and produced automobiles until 1923 when production was transferred to Arrol-Johnson's Heathhall works. She was an enthusiastic race car driver and won the cup in the Scottish Six Day Car Trials in 1924.[2][3] She acted as a sales representative for Arrol-Johnson until 1925–6.

Marriage and Later Life[edit]

In 1924, Dorothée Pullinger married Edward Marshall Martin (1895–1951), a ship's purser on the P and O passenger liner SS Naldera.[4] They had two children, Yvette (b. 1926) and Lewis (b. 1931). In the late 1920s, Dorothée and her husband established White Service Steam Laundry Ltd [1] in Croydon which expanded to 17 shops where Americam steam laundry equipment was installed. They sold the company in 1946. During World War II, she was the only woman appointed to the Industrial Panel of the Ministry of Production. As a member of the Conservative and Unionist Party, she served on a panel to address post-war problems, contributing to the 1944 report Looking Ahead: Work and the Future of British Industry. Dorothée Pullinger Martin moved to Guernsey in 1947, where she established Normandy Laundries in 1950. She died in Guernsey on January 28, 1986.[2]

In 2012 she was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.[5]

Significant achievements[edit]

  • One of the founding members of the Women's Engineering Society in 1919, a life-long member and active in the society's Council. [2][1]
  • MBE awarded in 1920 for her work as a manager during the First World War at Vickers munitions production, responsible for 7000 women munitions workers. [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Clarsen, Georgine (2003). "‘A Fine University for Women Engineers’: a Scottish munitions factory in World War I". Women's History Review 12 (3): 333–356. doi:10.1080/09612020300200363. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Pullinger, Dorothée Aurélie Marianne". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2011-12-14. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b "Dorothee Pullinger pioneer in car". BBC Local, South Scotland, People and Places. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  4. ^ Cameron, Stuart. "SS Naldera". Clydebuilt ships database. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame Inductees: 2012 Inductees". Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-01.