Dorothy Jordan Lloyd (1907)

Dorothy Jordan Lloyd came from a family with a tradition in the medical profession. Her father was a Professor of Operative Surgery in the University of Birmingham and her grandfather had lectured on medical subjects at Mason College.

After a short period at Birmingham University, she entered Newnham College Cambridge in 1908. Her interests were largely in biology and after passing the second part of the Tripos she was awarded the Bathurst Studentship at Newnham College. She was awarded a Fellowship in 1913 following publication of a series of investigations on the effect of osmotic phenomena in muscle. This early work, which led to her interest in the swelling of gelatin, was interrupted by the Great War. During this time, she investigated problems of alternative culture media the using bacteriology and the causes and prevention of ropiness in bread.

After the war her attention turned to the colloid chemistry of proteins and, following her appointment to the staff of the British Leather Research Association in 1921, she published a series of papers on fundamental problems in connection with the properties and treatment of leather. As a result of these investigations she obtained the D.Sc (London).

Dr Jordan Lloyd succeeded Sir Robert Picard as to Director of Research at the Research Association, a post which she held until her death. This appointment was unique in the scientific world, she was the only woman scientist in charge of an industrial research Association. Under her direction, the Research Association developed greatly in size and repute. At the Annual General Meeting of the Research Association in December 1946, shortly after her death, the chairman Mr Henry Booth paid tribute to Dr Jordan Lloyd’s memory:

"When she was appointed Director of Research, knowledge of the reasons why things were done in leather manufacture was small; now, there are few processes where the results cannot be controlled, as we have the available real knowledge of how they work. ... Under her leadership, the Association membership has increased two and a half times, and its staff nearly five times. Dr Jordan Lloyd had vision, and the success and progress of our Association under her direction is due to the wisdom of the Council in 1927 in choosing someone as a director who possessed this quality"

In the opinion of those best qualified to judge, Dr Jordan Lloyd was leading leather scientist of her time.