Sarah Lonsdale
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Rejecting the feminine
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This chapter argues that for some women, taking risks was not enough. They needed to reject accepted feminine behaviour if they were to push the boundaries of what was socially acceptable. Claudia Parsons was interested in engineering from a young age, and in 1919 was one of just three women to begin a diploma in engineering at Loughborough College. She became a motor engineer and a chauffeur but constantly came up against people who wanted to circumscribe and censor her activities. She did, however, manage to fulfil her life’s dream of circumnavigating the globe, by car, train and boat. This chapter also examines how the journal The Woman Engineer became a platform through which women could exchange ideas on science and technology and find encouragement when they otherwise encountered almost insuperable odds.

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