Authors, scholars and activists

Authors, scholars and activists

Mary Thomas (née Hedger) was an English writer about embroidery, who published mainly in the 1930's and early 1940's. She was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (England). She went to New York in 1911 with the aim of becoming a fashion journalist. During the First World War (1914-1918) she served with the Women’s Nursing Corps in France.

Gail Tsukiyama (1957) is an award-winning Asian-American novelist, whose work focuses on the lives of Chinese women, often textile workers. Her debut novel Women of the Silk (published in 1991) is set in a silk factory in 1920's rural China, where the young girl Pei is working in a silk house. The book includes details of the mutual aid societies that were organized by Chinese women silk workers.

Sir George Watt (1851-1930) was a Scottish born botanist who provided very detailed information about Indian plants, as well as the Indian industries that used the plants (and other materials). Sir George Watt was born in Aberdeen and then went to the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. He graduated as a doctor of medicine. In 1873-4 he became Professor of Botany at Calcutta University.

Isaac Watts was an English theologian who in 1715 published Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for Children. The book was widely used in English schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and eventually there were over one thousand editions published.

Walter Weldon was an English chemist, journalist and fashion publisher. He was the founder of Weldon's Fashion Journal; Weldon's Ladies' Journal (1875–1954); Weldon's Patterns and Weldon's Household Encyclopaedia, as well as of various other publications.

Geoffrey Whitney (c. 1548 – c. 1601) was an English scholar and compiler of an emblem book published in Leiden, The Netherlands in 1586. Whitney was born near Nantwich (Cheshire, England). His father is believed to be Sir Robert Whitney. Geoffrey Whitney went to Magdalene College, Cambridge University and later Oxford University.

Ramses Wissa Wassef was an Egyptian architect and professor of art and architecture at the College of Fine Arts, Cairo. He and his father-in-law, Habib Gorgi, believed that children were (and are) endowed with creative powers and with a potential that should be encouraged.

Soetsu Yanagi (1889–1961), also known as Yanagi Muneyoshi, was a Japanese philosopher and founder of the Mingei (folk crafts) movement in Japan in the late 1920's and 1930's. During this period, Japan was going through rapid westernization, industrialization and urban growth. The Mingei movement was regarded as a reaction to this rapid modernization.

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