We finish off our celebration of Women’s History Month today with a photograph of Fanny Louisa Calder, the founder of the FL Calder College of Domestic Science, one of the independent institutions which eventually became Liverpool John Moores University. Born on the 26 March 1838 in Rodney Street in Liverpool, she would have been 175 on her birthday on Tuesday.
She is seen here photographed in the gown and hood of her honorary MA in Education from Liverpool University, conferred upon her in 1913 in acknowledgement of her personal and local achievement for women’s education. At the age of 36 she formed a committee of like-minded women to organise cookery teaching in Liverpool, and for the next fifty years she devoted herself to the systematic teaching of domestic skills to women and girls and to the financial and curriculum management of the school.
This photograph is one of the many found in the FL Calder Archive, held in the Library in the Special Collections and Archives as part of our collections of the university’s history. There are many photographs of the students who attended the college, along with early cookery books, letters and administrative records, and a letter from Florence Nightingale, which refers to Miss Calder as the “Saint of the Laundry, Cooking and Health”. Happy Birthday, Miss Calder.