Notable Person

Dora Metcalf is now officially a ‘notable person’ with her own Wikipedia page. I don’t know exactly how the process works but the search engines look for reference to the person on several reputable websites. Over the last couple of years I have written guest blog posts for various organisations, including the Women Engineers’ History, …

Latest Research

The 1921 census was released at the beginning of 2022 and I was keen to see where Dora was living at that time. I knew she’d returned from Ireland in 1919 and had been selling Comptometers for Herbert E Robbins Ltd. After the First World War the British Government decided it wanted to redeploy its …

Pioneers of the WPC

I had a wonderful 4 hours at the Women’s Library studying the Women’s Provisional Club (WPC) archive. There was a lot to look at so I just photographed any pages that seemed relevant so that I could get through all four boxes of documents. I learned that Dora joined the WPC in 1932, was its …

Connections

The National Museum of Computing has published the Youtube presentation that I gave about Dora back in June. My talk covered her whole life but TNMOC were particularly interested in the Second World War and the Bletchley Park connection. It’s about an hour long including questions. I have made some interesting connections by going through …

Women’s Provisional Club

I have at last had some good news from the Women’s Library at LSE – they have found the Women’s Provisional Club (WPC) archive! Dora was a member from the 1930s to the 1950s and I believe the WPC was a source of female support, inspiration and powerful contacts for her. The Librarian has sent …

Edit & Pitch

The talks I gave about Dora went well and you can watch the presentation I gave at the British Society for the History of Mathematics conference below. It’s a short one – only 17 minutes – but it developed into an interesting Q&A with the participants. Most of them shared my frustration with the lack …

Update on Talks and Books

I will be speaking about Dora’s life and work via Zoom at the National Museum of Computing on 17 June at 6.30pm. You can find out more and book a ticket here. The emphasis for this talk is on how her career led to her role in the Second World War, managing the contract for …

Blogs, Talks and Books

The blog post about Dora at the Women in Tech and Science Ireland tells how she was the founder of the information services industry in the 1920s. Dora quickly learned that most businessmen and government department managers lacked the vision and mathematical skills to understand how to make full use of the new mechanical calculators …

Hello!

This website tells the story of my great aunt, Dora Metcalf. She was an amazing pioneer in the information services industry and she was the first female tech entrepreneur. I’ve written a novel based on her life, rather than a biography, as there are unknowns and secrets that leave tantalising blanks in her history. Here …