Today is women’s recognition day around the world, and what other better way to recognize women than to talk of the pioneer women who were first to beat the odds? In this article, we will feature Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911), she was the first woman to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Ellen Swallow Richards attained her Bachelor of Science degree in 1873; five years after the first graduating class of MIT. You can check out her thesis – titled ‘Notes on Some Sulpharsenites and Sulphantimonities from Colorado’ – at this link [PDF].
Two years after her graduation, Ellen appealed to the Women’s Education Association of Boston for assistance in setting up a lab at MIT to be used to instruct women in chemistry. The lab was established in 1876, and Professor John M. Ordway was set in charge with Ellen as his assistance.
Ellen served as an instructor in chemistry and mineralogy at the Women’s Laboratory until the day it was shut down in 1883. The next year she moved on to become an instructor in sanitary chemistry at the …read more