Our London Showroom display:
We have a new wall display in the shop, which is based around incredible women. Inspired by the women’s marches that we saw, and joined, all around the world we needed a display to mark that incredible coming together.
I have met quite a few very impressive women in my life but none of them were famous, simply kind, brave often quite heroic but in a quiet way. Our wall is dedicated to these women and also women who have come to our attention throughout history who have achieved quite extraordinary things. Not only that, they have gone against the crowd, had to put up with abuse and anger, often to the detriment of themselves and their families, they have been the only women amongst many men, they have been told what they are trying to do is impossible, and they have been told to simply ‘go away’! And throughout this struggle they have fought on to achieve exceptional things. We need to teach our daughters and our sons and grandchildren about these wonderful women.
There are so many that I could tell you about but here are a select few.
Augusta Ada King Noel Countess of Lovelace. She was a mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage and was the first person to realise that machines could have another purpose other than pure calculation. She was the first person to realise that there could be a ‘computing machine’. She was born in 1815 and was the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron.
Hedy Lamar, not only extraordinarily beautiful but also along with composer George Antheil, invented the technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping to defeat the threat of torpedoes during the second world war. Using this system they could jam enemy torpedoes. The technology they invented is now incorporated in WIFI and Bluetooth that we use today.
Rosa Louise Mcauley Parks a civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white teenager on a bus on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery Alabama. The United States Congress called her ‘The First Lady of Civil Rights’. There is now a Rosa Parks day in the USA.
Elizabeth Fry born in 1780 a quaker was a prison reformer. She visited Newgate and discovered that the women and children imprisioned there (some of them without a trial) needed clothes and food. She went back with clothes and food and started the first rehabilitation program as she firmly believed in reform rather than punishment. She started a school in the prison for the children. In 1817 she helped found the Association for the Reformation of the Female Prisoners in Newgate providing materials and teaching women to knit and sew in order to support themselves and their families after prison.
Marie Stopes Stopes has often been credited with beliefs especially about race which do not sit comfortably with anyone who believes in racial equality. However she was the first women to start a birth control clinic and her manual published in 1918 called ‘Married Love’, opened up the first discourse on contraception inside marriage and later outside marriage. Without her pioneering work we wouldn’t have the freedoms we enjoy now, over our own bodies. To younger women all these rights are normal to them. They have never known a time when there was no choice. Thanks to women like Marie Stopes we can take all these rights for granted.
Come in and view our new London Showroom display for yourself at:
210 Upper Street