Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts
BURDETT-COUTTS, Baroness, Angela Georgina, née Burdett, English, 1814-1906. During the Crimean War, she developed a successful clothes-dryer machine. Angela had a large version made and sent out there in 1855, for use with hospital linen. It was made of iron and wood, shipped in parts and then assembled on site. This was a heavy-duty model which used centrifugal force. There was much interest in centrifugal force for this purpose then, but her design was early and effective. Better designs did not become available until the 1920s when electric motors allowed reductions in size and cost of the dryers. Angela was philanthropic with her fortune, becoming a peer in 1871. When given the freedom of the City of London in 1872, she was the first woman to receive such an honour.
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