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Scrapbook: Announcing a New Arrival

Scrapbook: Announcing A New Arrival
Scrapbook: Announcing A New Arrival
LEFT: The SWE New York City District newsletter announced that the
Society’s forthcoming publication would be cared for by “chief nursemaids,” publication director Alma Kuppinger Forman, P.E., F.SWE, and editor Rheta Kudroff, and several governess assistants, including advisory editor Elsie Eaves, P.E., F.SWE. RIGHT: The journal was renamed the SWE Newsletter in 1954, reflecting the publication’s primary focus on sharing news of the Society and its members, rather than technical articles.

In the late 1940s, several groups of engineering students and professionals emerged on the East Coast, each calling themselves the “Society of Women Engineers.” They joined together at SWE’s founding meeting May 27–28, 1950, where, in addition to electing a governing board of directors and establishing committees, the founding members appointed a team responsible for producing a Society-wide publication to share news about SWE and its members.

In the 1950 summer special issue of its newsletter, the New York City District of SWE (as it was called then) cheekily issued a birth announcement for the Society’s forthcoming but unnamed publication: “Weight: Heavy, we hope. Sex – Female, of course.” While the estimated due date was a few months off, the Journal of the Society of Women Engineers debuted in spring 1951, providing a critical platform for SWE to share news about itself and its members, and a direct lineage to today’s SWE Magazine.

Scrapbook: Announcing A New Arrival
The first issue of the Journal of the Society of Women Engineers featured a technical article on the petroleum refinery industry titled “Liquid Gold,” along with progress reports from the Society’s nascent committees, activity reports from the Society’s four founding sections, and a recap of the Society’s first annual convention (as they were called), held in March 1951 in New York City.
Scrapbook: Announcing A New Arrival
The SWE Newsletter increasingly included feature articles in the 1970s, and was restructured as a magazine and renamed U.S. Woman Engineer in 1980. To avoid confusion with a similarly titled for-profit publication, it was renamed again in 1993, to its present identity as SWE: Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers.

“Scrapbook: Announcing a New Arrival” was written by Troy Eller English, SWE Archivist. This article appears in the 2020 spring issue of SWE Magazine

Read more from the 2020 spring issue of SWE Magazine: