Dame Caroline Haslett

Two illustrated portraits of Caroline Haslett before and during the war

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Caroline Haslett was an engineer (someone who makes or works with machines and other mechanical equipment).

She wanted more women to be scientists and engineers and she believed that electricity could change women's lives for the better and free them from exhausting housework. Caroline proved that women could do technical jobs just as well as men and could have careers in new fields of work.

Caroline Haslett Caroline Haslett

Steam engines were common before World War One but electricity was becoming the new power source. Electricity offered new opportunities for women, both at work and in the home by freeing them from time-consuming household chores. New electrical appliances such as vacuum cleaners made short work of chores. Thousands of women during World War One proved they could use machines that only men had used before. However, few women learned much science at school and fewer still worked in engineering, as Caroline Haslett did.

How could science help women?

Caroline knew the world was changing fast and that soon almost every home would have electricity . Yet most women knew little about electricity. They understood it powered the lights but that was about all. Caroline felt that if women understood science, they would feel at ease with new technology and welcome machines to take the hard work out of housework.

Teachers' notes

Teachers' notes and classroom ideas on the life and work of Caroline Haslett during World War One.

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