Elsie MacGill (1905 – 1980)

Elsie Gregory MacGill
Library and Archives Canada/a148464

Elizabeth "Elsie" MacGill was the first woman in Canada to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and the first woman in the world to earn a master's degree in aeronautical engineering and become an aircraft designer. Known as "Queen of the Hurricanes," MacGill is remembered for designing the Hawker Hurricane, a plane specifically adapted to fly in cold weather. She also designed the Maple Leaf trainer, which may still be the only plane completely designed by a woman. An outspoken feminist, MacGill served as national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs and was a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada. She received numerous awards, including the Centennial Medal, the Amelia Earhart Medal, and a gold medal from the Ontario Association of Professional Engineers.

“War effort is something, which is as microscopic in the unit as the individual, but as mighty in the sum total as an army.”

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