Ethel H. Bailey

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Ethel H. Bailey
EducationGeorge Washington University
Engineering career
DisciplineMechanical engineering
Employer(s)Raytheon Manufacturing Company
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ethel H. Bailey was an American mechanical engineer who began her working life in aviation and went on to develop radar and spectroscopic equipment. She was called a 'trailblazer' by fellow engineer Margaret Ingels in a 1952 speech.[1] Bailey was a member of the American Automotive Society (the first woman to be admitted as a full member, in 1920[1][2]), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers,s, the Society of American Military Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers.[3] She was also a member of the British Women's Engineering Society and contributed to their journal, The Woman Engineer.


Bailey had been interested in radios and motorboats at high school, and during the First World War she became an assistant inspector of Liberty L-12 aeroplane engines for the U.S. government, at a test airfield in Indianapolis.[4] After the war she studied at the Michigan State Automobile School in Detroit in 1918, and George Washington University in 1920.


During the Second World War Bailey worked procuring radar equipment at the Signal Corps Radar Laboratory, and went on to organize radar equipment for the U.S. Navy, as a mechanical engineer at the Raytheon Manufacturing Company in Waltham, Massachusetts.[5] In 1945 she was director of the technical publications division of a printing company in Boston, Massachusetts. She went on to be research assistant at the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developing spectroscopic equipment[6]


  • 'Automotive Research' in The Woman Engineer, 2:4 (1925) pp. 72–3.


  1. ^ a b Layne, Margaret E. (2009-06-05). Women in Engineering: Pioneers and Trailblazers. ASCE Publications. ISBN 9780784409800.
  2. ^ Tietjen, Jill S. (2016-09-23). Engineering Women: Re-visioning Women's Scientific Achievements and Impacts. Springer. ISBN 9783319408002.
  3. ^ "Personal Notes". The Woman Engineer. 5:2: 176. June 1942 – via
  4. ^ Bix, Amy Sue (2014-01-31). Girls Coming to Tech!: A History of American Engineering Education for Women. MIT Press. ISBN 9780262320276.
  5. ^ "News of Members". The Woman Engineer. 6:5: 71. Winter 1945 – via
  6. ^ "News of Members". The Woman Engineer. 6:13: 229. Autumn 1938 – via