Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eat my dust: early women motorists

Women played a significant part in the early history of motoring. In Eat my dust, Georgine Clarsen provides a number of case studies of women motorists and mechanics in the USA, Britain, South Africa and Australia prior to the Second World War.

The Woman who does - A Melbourne Women's Motor Garage (chapter 6) tells of the Alice Anderson Motor Service, a garage in Kew that employed only female staff and, among other services, provided courses for women who wanted to know more about the workings of the car.

Driving Australian modernity - Conquering Australia by car (chapter 7) describes three expeditions by women around or across Australia by car in 1926 and 1927.

Campaigns on Wheels - American automobiles and a suffrage of consumption (chapter 5) explores the use by women of the motor car to promote the suffrage cause across the United States of America.

Reading these accounts it is obvious that women quickly saw the advantages of this new method of transport and the freedom it gave them to explore their world.

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