Dorothy Jordan Lloyd

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Dorothy Jordan Lloyd (1933)

Dorothy Jordan Lloyd (1 May 1889 – 21 November 1946 ) was an early protein scientist who studied the interactions of water with proteins, particularly gelatin.[1][2][3] She was also Director of the British Leather Manufacturers' Research Association. She was the first to propose that the structure of globular proteins was maintained by hydrogen bonds, an idea championed later by Linus Pauling and others.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Birmingham, the daughter of George Jordan Lloyd, surgeon and later professor of surgery at the University of Birmingham, and his wife, Marian Hampson Simpson. One of four children, she was educated at the King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham, and entered Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1908. She was placed in the first class in part one of the natural sciences tripos in 1910 and in part two (zoology) in 1912, was a Bathurst student, and became the third Newnham fellow (1914–21). She worked for a time at Cambridge on problems of regeneration and osmotic phenomena in muscle, and this led her to a study of osmotic phenomena in simpler non-living colloidal systems. Her researches were interrupted by the First World War when she investigated — for the Medical Research Committee - substitute culture media for bacteriology, and the causes and prevention of ropiness in bread.

Research and later life[edit]

She accepted an invitation from R. H. Pickard in 1921 to join the newly formed British Leather Manufacturers' Research Association. While maintaining her interest in fundamental research (particularly into the behaviour of protein fibres in aqueous systems), she rapidly acquired an insight into the art of leather manufacture, and introduced many methods of control which have since become normal tannery practice. In 1927 she succeeded Pickard as director, and was, until her death, the only woman leading such an association for industrial research. In spite of many set-backs, including the destruction of new laboratories by German bombing in 1940, support for the association increased under her directorship, and it was recognized as an integral part of the industry. She served on the councils and committees of many societies, including the executive committee of the International Society of Leather Trades' Chemists. In 1939 she was awarded the Fraser Muir Moffat medal by the Tanners' Council of America for her contributions to leather chemistry. She was also vice-president of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (1943–6) and a member of the Chemical Council.

Besides many contributions to scientific journals, Dorothy Jordan Lloyd was the author of The Chemistry of the Proteins (1926; 2nd edn, with Agnes Shore, 1938), and planned and contributed to Progress in Leather Science, 1920–45 (3 vols., 1946–8), which became one of the world's foremost textbooks on leather technology.

A keen mountaineer, in 1928 Dorothy Jordan Lloyd achieved the distinction of making the first ascent and descent in one day of the Mittellegi Ridge of the Eiger. She died, unmarried, at Kenilworth Lodge, Great Bookham, Surrey, on 21 November 1946.


  • Jordan Lloyd, D (1932). "Colloidal Structure and its Biological Significance". Biological Review. 7: 254–273. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185x.1962.tb01043.x. 
  • Jordan Lloyd, D; Marriott (1933). "The swelling of protein fibres. Part II. Silk gut". Transactions of the Faraday Society. 29: 1228. doi:10.1039/tf9332901228. 


  1. ^ Rayner-Canham, Marelene Rayner-Canham, Geoff (2008). "Dorothy Jordan Lloyd". Chemistry was their life: Pioneering British women chemists, 1880-1949. London: Imperial College Press. pp. 323–325. ISBN 9781860949876. 
  2. ^ Stevens, Catherine M. C. Haines with Helen M. (2001). "Lloyd, Dorothy Jordan". International women in science : a biographical dictionary to 1950. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 178–179. ISBN 9781576070901. 
  3. ^ Hartley, Cathy (2003). "Jordan-Lloyd, Dorothy (1889–1946)". A historical dictionary of British women. (Revised ed.). London: Europa Publications. p. 513. ISBN 978-1857432282. 

Further reading[edit]