Women's History Month

A celebration of Tyneside women

Henrietta Heald on Rachel Parsons

Acclaimed author Henrietta Heald highlights Discovery Museum's largest exhibit - Charles Parsons’ Turbinia, the world’s first steam turbine powered ship, which changed the face of maritime history and in 1897 was the fastest ship in the world.

Henrietta highlights the main contributions of Rachel Parsons, his daughter, who was the first woman to study Mechanical Sciences at Cambridge University and who co-founded the Women's Engineering Society  in 1919 with her mother Katharine and Caroline Haslett.

Henrietta Healds’ latest book Magnificent Women and their Revolutionary Machines tells the story of these women at the heart of the Women’s Engineering Society – from their success in fanning the flames of a social revolution to their significant achievements in engineering and technology.

The Female Form Through Time

The Female Form Though Time examines how women have been artificially changing the shape of their bodies for centuries to follow fashion, through Discovery Museum's Costume collection.

An online exhibition in association with Google Arts & Culture - click here to view.

This 4 minute films delivers a unique behind-the-scenes perspective and curator's insight into the intricacies of Victorian underwear. 

Part 1 of our Style Stories series. 

'Free A Man for A Fleet' - Women of the Second World War: Wrens

In this new blog post Assistant Keeper of History Gemma Ashby takes a look at the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS). The recruitment posters urged women to ‘Join the Wrens & free a man for the fleet’. The messaging worked to such a great extent that some women believed they would be directly taking the place of a man within the Royal Navy. 

Read it here. 

The Female Form Through Time: Women’s Skirts in the 1970s

Following on from The Female Form Through Time, this blog by curator Helen Vasey takes a look at the hemlines of the 1970s. 

Read it here.