[Partridge, Margaret] Haslett, Caroline | The Electrical Handbook for Women

  • First edition, first impression, in the uncommon dust jacket.

    The Electrical Handbook for Women was “the cornerstone publication” of the Electrical Association for Women, which was founded in 1924 by engineer Caroline Haslett and other members of the Women’s Engineering Society, “in part to encourage the use of electricity in the home” (ODNB). The contents are well-illustrated and include sections on the general principles underlying electrical technology, legal and regulatory issues, and the technical details of domestic electricity applications such as lighting, heating, cooking, and laundry.

    Though edited by Haslett, the book’s main author was electrical engineer Margaret Partridge (1891-1967), who began her career as a munitions worker during the First World War and then founded her own firm, M. Partridge & Co., Domestic Engineers. “The new company focused on providing lighting and electric power for farm and country houses... In 1922 she put on an exhibition of electric models and machines in Exeter, including a range of labour-saving devices aimed at women in the home. It was predicted that her exhibition would ‘stir up the women of Exeter to demand the installation of electricity’ (The Woman Engineer, vol. 1 no. 17 [1923])... Her first rural electrification scheme was in Bampton, a contract gained in 1925 with the support of the electrical engineer Dr John Purves. She canvassed for shareholders among WES members, including Lady Parsons and Lady Shelley-Rolls, and the scheme was completed in 1926. She wrote to her friend Caroline Haslett from the power station, ‘My dear – for sheer exciting experience give me a town to light’ (Partridge to Caroline Haslett, n.d., Inst. ET UK0108 NAEST 092/4.9.68).” (ODNB).

  • ...Edited for The Electrical Association for Women. Foreword by Sir John Snell. London: Hodder & Stoughton, Limited, 1934.

    Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine and EWA roundel to upper board in silver. With the dust jacket. Photographic frontispiece and 19 plates of which 15 are double-sided, folding map, numerous diagrams and illustrations within the text. Spine slightly rolled, a few small spots to the edges of the text block, and very occasionally to the contents. A very good copy in the rubbed jacket with a closed tear affecting the title and a 1-inch chip in the upper panel, as well as a similarly-sized chip at the bottom of the lower panel not affecting the jacket blurb, and a few other smaller chips at the corners and edges.