New Blue Plaque for Lilian Lindsay

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English Heritage announces new blue plaque for Lilian Lindsay, the first qualified female dentist in Britain

The trailblazing first woman to qualify as a dentist in Britain, Lilian Lindsay, is to be honoured with a new blue plaque, English Heritage has announced.

Lindsay had to overcome numerous obstacles on her way to the dental surgery, including an unnsuccessful interview on the pavement outside the National Dental Hospital in 1892 when the Dean, Henry Weiss, refused to admit her because she was a female. Weiss believed the young woman might prove a ‘distraction’ to his students.

Lindsay eventually studied dentistry at Edinburgh Dental Hospital and School, qualifying with honours in 1895. She enjoyed a distinguished career. In 1946, Lindsay became the first female President of the British Dental Association, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded the CBE.

This year, Lindsay's plaque, which originally marked an illegally demolished building in Islington, will be installed at a new location at the British Dental Association's former headquarters in Russell Square, Bloomsbury. Lindsay worked there from 1920-1935 and also lived in an upstairs flat.

How times change. In its report, The Dental Industry 2018, Christie & Co shows the percentage of female dentistry undergraduates has risen to 63.4%, and that women now comprise 49% of the dental workforce