© Lewis Martin private collection: Licensor Lewis Martin

Dorothée Aurélie Marianne Pullinger



Dorothée Aurélie Marianne Pullinger , automobile engineer and businesswoman, was born at St Aubin-sur-Scie, Seine Inférieure, France, the eldest of the eleven children of Thomas Charles Pullinger, engineer, and his wife, Aurélie Berenice. She moved to England with her family at the age of eight and attended Loughborough high school, Leicestershire.

Dorothée trained under her father at the Arrol-Johnston car works in Paisley, Scotland. During WW1, Vickers employed her as their Lady Superintendent in charge of 7,000 female war workers at Barrow, where she set up their apprenticeship scheme. After WWI, she became a director and manager of the Galloway Engineering Ltd factory in Tongland, Kirkcudbright, staffed by women. Renamed Galloway Motors Ltd, the factory produced the car she had remodelled for women - the Galloway based on the Fiat 501. Pullinger was the first person, and certainly the first woman car designer, to see both the need for a different design of car for women drivers and also the design and engineering solutions to bring that about commercially. She remains to this day the only person to design and take into production a car specifically designed with women drivers in mind.

She relocated to England with her family, and worked as sales representative for the Galloway. Around the time Arrol-Johnston ceased production of cars, she set up a large, technically innovative steam laundry in Croydon, with imported American machinery and its own power station and arterial well. In WW2 she set up the women's industrial war work programme for Lord Nuffield and ran 13 factories. She was the only woman on a post-war government committee formed to recruit women into factories.

She achieved this, and more, at a time when men dominated engineering and industry, and working women were often regarded as "stealing a man's job". A woman of remarkable resilience and talent, a leader in recruiting women into engineering during wartime, an MBE at the age of 26, a founder of the Women's Engineering Society in 1919, an accomplished engineer in her own right, and a pioneer and inspiration for women in engineering.

Our thanks to www.engineeringhalloffame.org for their help with this information

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