Come out to the Thunder Bay Museum to hear alumna Crystal Sissons (HBA 2003) talk about her new book Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill (Second Story Press/Feminsit History Society, 2014).
Elsie MacGill’s life spanned much of the 20th century, and it was a life full of firsts. While she was still a child, Canadian women won the right to vote for the first time. In the 1920s, she was the first woman to graduate in engineering from the University of Toronto and to later earn a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. Elsie would live to see the first person walk on the moon, and she would become the first woman aircraft designer in the world.
Elsie’s twin passions for engineering and feminism drove her throughout her life. They inspired her to work for more than fifty years in her field and to become a tireless advocate for women’s rights. She supported women’s struggles and achievements, enshrining their rights and expanding their opportunities.
Elsie’s work during the Second World War on aircraft designs and production made her a popular cartoon character called the “Queen of the Hurricanes.” She continued her achievements into the 1970s as an activist, changing the lives of women in Canada for the better. A truly inspiring woman for the ages.
Copies of the book will be sold at the event.
Partners: Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society and the Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre. Additional partnerss TBA.
Bio: Crystal Sissons is an independent historian and works at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. She completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in history at the University of Ottawa, after finishing undergraduate degrees in history and education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Crystal is also active in a number of organizations, including the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Ottawa within BPW Canada.