Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Dorothee Pullinger

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Dorothee Aurelie Marianne Pullinger, automobile engineer and businesswoman.

1894 Born in Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie, Seine Inférieure, France, the daughter of T. C. Pullinger and his wife Aurélie Berenice Sitwell

She was educated at Loughborough High School.

In 1910, she began work as a drafts-person at the Scottish automobile firm of Arrol-Johnston, where her father was the manager

1914 She applied to join the Institution of Automobile Engineers, but was refused on the grounds that "the word person means a man and not a woman."

WWI 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. Eventually she was responsible for 7000 female munitions workers there

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

1920 She was appointed MBE in recognition of her war work.

1921 She managed production of the Galloway Motor Car Co

1924 Dorothée liked to race and regularly took part in the Scottish Six Day Trials, winning with the Galloway in 1924

1924 Married Edward Marshall Martin (1895-1951). They had two children, Yvette (b. 1926) and Lewis (b. 1931).

Dorothée Pullinger was a sales representative for southern England in 1925–6.

In the late 1920s, Dorothée and her husband established White Service Laundries in Croydon using the new American steam laundry machinery.

During World War II, she worked with the Nuffield Group in Birmingham, advising them on women's wartime employment issues. She was the only woman appointed to the Ministry of Production's industrial panel. As a member of the Conservative and Unionist Party, she served on a panel to address post-war problems, which produced the report "Looking Ahead: Work and the Future of British Industry".

1946 The Croydon business was sold.

1947 Dorothée Pullinger Martin moved to Guernsey, where she established Normandy Laundries in 1950.

1986 January 28th. Died on Guernsey

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Dorothee Pullinger, ODNB