Women at the Throttle

| November/December 1996

  • Bill Lamb
    Bill Lamb takes a moment to recall outstanding women engineers.

  • Bill Lamb

3982 Ballard Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45209-1716

When Bill Lamb in Lexington, Kentucky, saw my essay on Doris Lindenmier, he wanted to compliment the women engineers he has known. In an earlier article, Bill named excellent engineers who were men, and now, in this piece, he identifies excellent engineers who were women.

I drew the pen-and-ink sketch to accompany Bill's article. It shows a younger Bill at the throttle of a Gaar-Scott engine. Bill is now eighty-eight years old and still looks very much like my drawing, except that his hair is gray.

In his visits to steam shows around the country, Bill Lamb has observed expert engineers who were women. 'I'd like to mention them in the Album because people might make the mistake of thinking only men run engines or that only a man can run an engine,' Bill said.

'Erna Wright had a Baker engine,' Bill recalled. 'She brought it to Big Jim Whitbey's show in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She could belt it up as well as anybody. It looked like she and the engine knew one another.'

'Mildred Ary,' Bill continues, 'had a Gaar-Scott single cylinder. It looked like she and the engine talked to one another. She could balance it on the teeter-totter. She showed me how little I knew about engines.'