Dorothée Pullinger

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

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. In 1910, she began work as a draftsperson at the Scottish automobile firm of Arrol-Johnston, where her father was a manager.[1]

World War I and Munitions Manufacturing[edit]

Dorothée Pullinger remained at Arrol-Johnston until the start of World War I when she was appointed manager of a munitions facility operated by Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness, where women were employed in the manufacture of high explosive shells. 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.[2]

Galloway Motors and Automobile Manufacturing[edit]

After the war, the munitions facility was converted to the manufacture of automobiles and was renamed as Galloway Motors Ltd. The company employed a largely female work force under Pullinger's direction and produced automobiles until 1923. She was an enthusiastic race car driver and won the cup in the Scottish Six Day Car Trials in 1924.[1][2]

Marriage and Later Life[edit]

In 1924, Dorothée Pullinger married Edward Marshall Martin (1895–1951). They had two children, Yvette (b. 1926) and Lewis (b. 1931). In the late 1920s, Dorothée and her husband established White Service Laundries Ltd in Croydon. 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. Dorothée Pullinger Martin moved to Guernsey in 1947, where she established Normandy Laundries in 1950. She died in Guernsey on January 28, 1986.[1]

In 2012 she was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Pullinger, Dorothée Aurélie Marianne". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2011-12-14. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Dorothee Pullinger pioneer in car". BBC Local, South Scotland, People and Places. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  3. ^ "Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame Inductees: 2012 Inductees". Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-01.