From 100-year-old women’s motoring masks to contemporary PPE: A socio-political study of persistent problems and inventive possibilities

Jungnickel, Katrina and May, Katja. 2022. From 100-year-old women’s motoring masks to contemporary PPE: A socio-political study of persistent problems and inventive possibilities. Sociology, ISSN 0038-0385 [Article] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) became central to daily news. Face masks may have been critical, but they were clearly not equally designed or distributed, compelling many women health workers to make their own. These issues are neither new nor specific to health-oriented fields. We offer insights from another case of individuals taking PPE into their own hands. We analyse patents for women’s motoring face masks invented in America, Canada, England, and France (1900 -1925). Our findings suggest that women invented and wore face masks not only to drive safely, but to position themselves as legitimate motorists and as citizens with equal rights to technology, public space, and resources at the turn of last century. We propose that a study of historic motoring face masks might offer insights into persistent problems and inventive possibilities relating to contemporary PPE.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221143654

Additional Information:

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article: Politics of Patents: Re-imagining Citizenship via Clothing Inventions 1820-2020 has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 819458).

Keywords:

citizenship, gender, invention, masks, motoring, patents, PPE, resistance

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
9 November 2022Accepted

Item ID:

32587

Date Deposited:

18 Nov 2022 10:50

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2022 12:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/32587

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