Available online soon
The Electrical Association for Women (EAW) designed tea towels to encourage women to use electrical appliances in the home. The use of washing machines and vacuum cleaners gave women more time, and allowed them to get jobs outside the home in greater numbers. TheWomen's Engineering Society (WES) still has the tea towels, dusters and ‘pinnies’ made to encourage women to use electricity in its archive. As soon as Genevieve mentioned them I made contact with WES about reproducing them for the Civic Shop.
Three of the tea towel designs (carefully reconstructed by Sam Dunne) are now on sale at the shop, with all sales money going towards WES (still an influential membership organisation which supports women engineers, and campaigns for more diversity in engineering) and the blue plaque for the Ladies Bridge - more on this to follow!
If you'd like to see the original tea towels and other artefacts from WES and EAW then you can visit them here. Jon Cable is brilliantly helpful and looks after the archives.
Thank you to Leisa, Genevieve, Sam, Jon and Dawn Bonfield (the President Elect of WES) for the string of events that lead to this being possible!