Cover image for American women in technology : an encyclopedia
American women in technology : an encyclopedia
Zierdt-Warshaw, Linda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 384 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


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T36 .Z54 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A diverse compendium of biographies of leading American women in the field of technology.

* Illustrations

Author Notes

Linda Zierdt-Warshaw is a professional editor and a writer specializing in scientific and educational materials.

Alan Winkler is a science resource specialist in the field of science education.

Leonard Bernstein has authored several science textbooks and other instructional materials. He has taught secondary school science and founded a middle school with a focus on science and technology.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

More than 300 women, as well as technology disciplines, associations, laboratories, agencies, awards, and related topics, are the subjects of entries in this volume. The collection of women ranges widely and includes Mary Kies (b. 1742), the first American woman to receive a patent (for inventing a weaving process used in making straw hats); actress Lillian Russell (1861^-1922), who invented a dresser trunk; and Irene Carswell Peden (1925^-), an electrical engineer who invented ways to use radio waves to study characteristics deep in the earth and in the sky. Entries vary in length from about one-fourth of a page to three pages, with most being one-half to one-page long. The language and writing style are accessible, even graceful--this is not a dry academic tome. Each entry concludes with references for further reading. Numerous standard resources have been used in compiling the entries, including Current Biography Yearbook, Notable American Women (1971) and ABC-CLIO's American Women in Science (1994). The appendixes include four tables of awards: winners of the Garvan Medal, awarded each year by the American Chemical Society to a distinguished U.S. woman chemist; inductees to the Women's Hall of Fame who work in science and technology; women Nobel Laureates in Science and Technology; and recipients of the Women Engineers annual awards. The bibliography has 15 pages of book and periodical article citations and a page of selected Web sites. Although most of the data is available elsewhere, pulling together information on women's contributions to developments in technology makes the encyclopedia a good addition to any high-school, public, and academic library reference section.

Library Journal Review

This one-volume encyclopedia provides brief descriptions of the contributions women have made to technology. The authors, all writers specializing in science education, have broadened the definition of technology to include not only the development of processes and products for commercial, industrial, or household use "but also those that in some way improve the daily lives of humans." This means that besides the obvious inclusions (e.g., physicist Lise Meitner, whose work in uranium fission led to the development of nuclear weapons, and Nobel Prize winner Gertrude Belle Elion, who developed life-saving drugs), researchers will also find women not usually associated with technology (Lydia Pinkham, who developed an herbal tonic for menstrual ailments, and Madame C.J. Walker, who created hair care products for African American women). Some 300 entries cover technological events that opened scientific fields to women, biographies of women who made important contributions, organizations that helped women enter technological specialties, and historical milestones for women in technology. Each description, ranging in length from a paragraph to a few pages, contains fascinating facts that capture the reader's attention. Each entry has See Also references that direct the user to related entries as well as a brief list of citations to books, articles, and web sites for additional information. Appendixes include a list of award winners and a bibliography. Although several biographical compilations about women scientists have been published recently (for example, American Women in Science, LJ 2/15/99), this encyclopedia does not duplicate those other sources. Overall, American Women in Technology is a well-written, engaging resource that is fun to browse. Recommended for public and academic libraries.√ĄTeresa Berry, Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Did you know that Ruth Handler invented Barbie and the first realistic prosthetic breast? Those are among the many interesting facts this book contains. These authors of three other books on women and science intended for 5th-12th grade level have done an outstanding job researching and writing their most current encyclopedia, this time for postsecondary readers. The introduction gives a brief, thoughtful explanation for the absence of women's contributions from more traditional encyclopedias of science and technology. Written in simple, concise style, the text emphasizes biographical entries but includes organizations and societies, women's colleges, and specific fields or disciplines and their associations with women. The scope is broad, ranging from electrical and electronics engineering to crystallography. The table of contents is arranged alphabetically; each entry in the encyclopedia proper provides cross-references and a brief bibliography. An appendix lists female award winners. A good place to begin research for general readers and lower-division undergraduates. K. B. Hovendick Syracuse University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
American Women in Technologyp. 1
Acoustical Engineeringp. 1
Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineeringp. 1
Affirmative Actionp. 2
Agricultural Engineeringp. 3
Agriculturep. 4
Alexander, Hattie Elizabeth (1901-1968)p. 6
Alexander, Lucy Maclay (n.d.)p. 7
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)p. 8
American Association of University Women (AAUW)p. 8
American Chemical Society (ACS)p. 9
American Crystallographic Association (ACA)p. 9
American Institute of Architects (AIA)p. 9
American Institute of Chemists (AIC)p. 10
American Mathematical Society (AMS)p. 10
American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS)p. 11
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)p. 11
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)p. 12
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)p. 12
Ancker-Johnson, Betsy (b. 1929)p. 13
Anderson, Elda Emma (1899-1961)p. 13
Antibioticsp. 14
Apgar, Virginia (1909-1974)p. 15
Architecturep. 17
Argonne National Laboratoryp. 18
Askins, Barbara (n.d.)p. 19
Association for the Advancement of Women (AAW)p. 20
Association for Women in Science (AWIS)p. 20
Astronomyp. 20
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)p. 23
Averell, Georgene Hopf (1876-1963)p. 24
Baby Fae (1984-1984)p. 25
Baker, Sara Josephine (1873-1945)p. 25
Baldwin, Anna (n.d.)p. 27
Barnard Collegep. 27
Barney, Nora Stanton Blatch (1883-1971)p. 27
Bartlett, Helen Blair (1901-1969)p. 28
Bath, Patricia (b. 1944)p. 29
Beasley, Maria E. (ca. 1847-1904?)p. 29
Benerito, Ruth Rogan (b. 1916)p. 31
Benjamin, Miriam E. (n.d.)p. 31
Berkowitz, Joan (b. 1931)p. 31
Bernstein, Dorothy Lewis (1914-1988)p. 32
Bethune, Louise Blanchard (1856-1913)p. 33
Bevier, Isabel (1860-1942)p. 33
Biomedical Engineeringp. 34
Biotechnologyp. 35
Blackburn, Elizabeth Helen (b. 1948)p. 35
Blanchard, Helen Augusta (1840-1922)p. 36
Blodgett, Katherine Burr (1898-1979)p. 36
Blount (Griffin), Bessie J. (ca. 1914-?)p. 38
Boone, Sarah (n.d.)p. 38
Bradberry, Henrietta M. (?-1979)p. 39
Bramley, Jenny Rosenthal (1910-1997)p. 39
Bridgesp. 40
Brill, Yvonne Claeys (b. 1924)p. 41
Brown, Marie Van Britton (n.d.)p. 42
Brown, Rachel Fuller (1898-1980)p. 42
Bryant, Alice G. (1862?-1942)p. 43
Bryn Mawr Collegep. 44
Burbidge, (Eleanor) Margaret Peachey (b. 1919)p. 44
Butler, Margaret K. (b. 1924)p. 45
Butterick, Ellen (n.d.)p. 46
Butterworth, Mary Peck (1686-1775)p. 47
Caldwell, Mary Letitia (1890-1972)p. 49
Cambra, Jessie G. (b. 1919)p. 49
Carr, Emma Perry (1880-1972)p. 50
Centennial Expositionp. 52
Chemical Engineeringp. 53
Chemical Pioneer Awardp. 53
Chilton, Annie H. (n.d.)p. 54
Civil Engineeringp. 54
Clarke, Edith (1883-1959)p. 54
Cochran, Josephine G. (ca. 1842-?)p. 55
Columbian Expositionp. 56
Colvin, Margaret Plunkett (1828-1894)p. 58
Colwell, Rita Rossi (b. 1934)p. 58
Computers/Computer Technologyp. 59
Comstock Prizep. 61
Converse, Susan Taylor (n.d.)p. 61
Conway, Lynn Ann (b. 1938)p. 62
Conwell, Esther Marly (b. 1922)p. 62
Cori, Gerty Theresa Radnitz (1896-1957)p. 63
Coston, Martha J. (1826-?)p. 66
Crosby, Caresse (1892-1970)p. 66
Crystallographyp. 67
Cunningham, Kate Richards O'Hare (1877-1948)p. 68
Darden, Christine M. (b. 1942)p. 69
Demorest, Ellen Curtis (1824-1898)p. 70
Dick, Gladys Rowena Henry (1881-1963)p. 70
Dickelman, Lizzie H. (n.d.)p. 71
Domestic Appliancesp. 71
Donovan, Marion (1917-1998)p. 73
Downs, Cornelia Mitchell (1892-1987)p. 74
Dresselhaus, Mildred S. (b. 1930)p. 75
Dunbar, Bonnie J. (b. 1949)p. 76
Earle, Sylvia (b. 1935)p. 79
Eaves, Elsie (1898-1983)p. 81
Edwards, Helen Thom (b. 1936)p. 81
Eglin, Ellen F. (n.d.)p. 82
Eldering, Grace (1900-1989)p. 82
Electrical and Electronics Engineeringp. 83
Elion, Gertrude Belle (1918-1999)p. 83
Emerson, Gladys Anderson (1903-1984)p. 86
Eng, Patricia L. (b. 1955)p. 88
Engineeringp. 89
Enrico Fermi Awardp. 90
Environmental Engineeringp. 91
Estrin, Thelma (b. 1924)p. 91
Evans, Alice Catherine (1881-1975)p. 92
Evard, Mary (n.d.)p. 93
Everson, Carrie Jane (1842-1914)p. 94
Farmer, Fannie Merritt (1857-1915)p. 95
Federal Woman's Awardp. 96
Fenselau, Catherine Clarke (b. 1939)p. 96
Fieser, Mary Peters (1909-1997)p. 97
Fink, Kathryn (Kay) Ferguson (b. 1917)p. 98
Fitzroy, Nancy D. (b. 1927)p. 98
Flanigen, Edith M. (b. 1929)p. 99
Flugge-Lotz, Irmgard (1903-1974)p. 100
Foster, Margaret (1895-1970)p. 101
Fowler, Joanna S. (b. 1942)p. 101
Fox, Sally (b. 1956)p. 102
Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medalp. 102
Frantz, Virginia Kneeland (1896-1967)p. 103
Frederick, Christine M. (1883-1970)p. 103
Free, Helen Murray (b. 1923)p. 104
French, Elizabeth J. (1821-1900)p. 105
Friend, Charlotte (1921-1987)p. 105
Gabe, Frances Bateson (b. 1915)p. 107
Galloway, Betty (b. 1958)p. 108
Gardner, Julia Anna (1882-1960)p. 108
Genetic Engineeringp. 109
Gilbreth, Lillian Moller (1878-1972)p. 110
Gleason, Kate (1865-1933)p. 113
Goeppert-Mayer, Maria (1906-1972)p. 114
Goldstine, Adele Katz (b. 1920)p. 116
Good, Mary Lowe (b. 1931)p. 117
Goode, Sarah E. (n.d.)p. 118
Graham, Bette Nesmith (1924-1980)p. 118
Grandin, Temple (b. 1947)p. 118
Granville, Evelyn Boyd (b. 1924)p. 120
Green, Arda Alden (1899-1958)p. 121
Greene, Catherine Littlefield (1755-1814)p. 122
Greenewalt, Mary E. H. (1871-?)p. 123
Greneker, Lillian (1895-1990)p. 124
Hahn, Dorothy Anna (1876-1950)p. 127
Hall, Julia Brainerd (1858-1925)p. 127
Hamilton, Alice (1869-1970)p. 128
Handler, Ruth (1917-?)p. 130
Harmon, Elise F. (1909-1985)p. 131
Hayden, Sophia Gregoria (1868-1953)p. 132
Hazen, Elizabeth Lee (1885-1975)p. 133
Henry, Beulah L. (1887-?)p. 134
Herzenberg, Caroline Littlejohn (b. 1932)p. 136
Hibbard, Susan (n.d.)p. 137
Hicks, Beatrice Alice (1919-1979)p. 137
Hobby, Gladys Lounsbury (1910-1993)p. 138
Hollinshead, Ariel (b. 1929)p. 139
Home Economicsp. 140
Hooper, Mary Carpenter (n.d.)p. 142
Hoover, Erna Schneider (b. 1926)p. 142
Hopper, Grace Murray (1906-1992)p. 143
Hosmer, Harriet (1830-1908)p. 145
Hyde, Ida Henrietta (1857-1945)p. 146
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)p. 149
Industrial Engineeringp. 149
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)p. 150
Invention/Inventorsp. 151
Irwin, Harriet (?-1897)p. 152
Jackson, Shirley Ann (b. 1946)p. 155
Jeanes, Allene Rosalind (1906-1995)p. 156
Jemison, Mae (b. 1956)p. 157
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)p. 159
Johnson, Barbara Crawford (b. 1925)p. 160
Johnson, Katherine Coleman Goble (b. 1918)p. 161
Johnson, Nancy M. (ca. 1795-1890)p. 161
Jones, Amanda Theodosia (1835-1914)p. 162
Jones, El Dorado (1860/1861?-1932)p. 162
Jones, Sarah E. (1829-1884)p. 163
Joullie, Madeleine M. (b. 1927)p. 163
Joyner, Marjorie Stewart (1896-1994)p. 164
Karle, Isabella L. (b. 1921)p. 165
Kaufman, Joyce Jacobson (b. 1929)p. 166
Keichline, Anna W. (1890-?)p. 166
Kempf, Martine (b. 1958)p. 167
Kendrick, Pearl Luella (1890-1980)p. 169
Kenner, (Mary) Beatrice Davidson (b. 1912)p. 170
Kies, Mary (1742-?)p. 171
King, Helen (1869-1955)p. 172
Knight, Margaret E. (1838-1914)p. 173
Koshland, Marian Elliot (b. 1921)p. 173
Krim, Mathilde Galland (b. 1926)p. 174
Kurtzig, Sandra L. Brody (b. 1946/1947?)p. 175
Kwolek, Stephanie Louise (b. 1923)p. 176
Lamarr, Hedy (1914-2000)p. 179
Lamme, Bertha (1869-1954)p. 180
Lemelson-MIT Programp. 180
Levi-Montalcini, Rita (b. 1909)p. 181
Libby, Leona W. (1919-1986)p. 183
Lin, Maya (b. 1959)p. 185
Loftness, Vivian (n.d.)p. 186
Logan, Myra Adele (1908-1977)p. 187
Low, Jeanie S. (n.d.)p. 188
Lucid, Shannon Wells (b. 1943)p. 188
Macdonald, Anne L. (n.d.)p. 191
Mack, Pauline Beery (1891-1974)p. 191
Macy-Hoobler, Icie Gertrude (1892-1984)p. 193
Mangin, Anna (n.d.)p. 194
Manhattan Projectp. 195
Manning, Ann Harned (ca. 1790-1870s)p. 196
Martinez, Lissa Ann (b. 1954)p. 196
Masters, Sybilla Righton (?-1720)p. 197
Materials Engineeringp. 198
Mathematical Association of America (MAA)p. 199
Mathematicsp. 199
Mather, Sarah (n.d.)p. 200
Maury, Antonia (1866-1952)p. 201
McCardell, Claire (1905-1958)p. 202
Mechanical Engineeringp. 202
Medicine/Medical Technologyp. 203
Metals and Metallurgyp. 208
Metcalf, Betsey (1786-1867)p. 209
Miller, Elizabeth Smith (1822-1911)p. 210
Moore, Ann (b. 1940)p. 210
Morgan, Agnes Fay (1884-1968)p. 211
Morgan, Julia (1872-1957)p. 212
Morrill Act of 1862p. 213
Mount Holyoke Collegep. 213
Muller, Gertrude (1887-1954)p. 213
National Academy of Engineering (NAE)p. 215
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)p. 215
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)p. 216
National Engineers Weekp. 218
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)p. 218
National Inventors' Hall of Famep. 219
National Medal of Sciencep. 220
National Medal of Technologyp. 220
National Science Foundation (NSF)p. 221
National Women's Hall of Famep. 221
National Women's History Monthp. 222
Nepotism Policiesp. 222
Newman, Lyda (n.d.)p. 223
Nobel Prizep. 223
Nuclear Physicsp. 224
Ochoa, Ellen (b. 1958)p. 227
Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD)p. 228
Ordnancep. 230
Parker, Ivy (1907-1985)p. 233
Patentp. 233
Patent Act of 1790p. 234
Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. (PTO)p. 235
Patrick, Ruth (b. 1907)p. 235
Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecelia (1900-1979)p. 237
Pearce, Louise (1885-1959)p. 238
Peden, Irene Carswell (b. 1925)p. 239
Pennington, Mary Engle (1872-1952)p. 241
Pert, Candace Bebe (b. 1946)p. 243
Petermann, Mary Locke (1908-1975)p. 244
Peterson, Edith Runne (1914-1992)p. 245
Petroleum Engineeringp. 245
Pharmacologyp. 246
Phi Beta Kappa Societyp. 248
Pinckney, Eliza Lucas (1722-1793)p. 248
Pinkham, Lydia Estes (1819-1883)p. 249
Pittman, Margaret (1901-1995)p. 251
Pool, Judith Graham (1919-1975)p. 253
Potts, Mary Florence Webber (1851-?)p. 254
Pressman, Ada I. (b. 1927)p. 254
Proudfoot, Andrea H. (n.d.)p. 256
Quimby, Edith Hinkley (1891-1982)p. 257
Radioimmunoassay (RIA)p. 259
Railroadsp. 259
Rand, (Marie) Gertrude (1886-1970)p. 260
Resnik, Judith A. (1949-1986)p. 261
Richards, Ellen Henrietta Swallow (1842-1911)p. 262
Richardson, Jane Shelby (b. 1941)p. 264
Ride, Sally Kirsten (b. 1951)p. 265
Rigas, Harriet B. (1934-1989)p. 267
Rockwell, Mabel MacFerran (1902-1979)p. 268
Rodgers, Dorothy (1909-1992)p. 269
Roebling, Emily Warren (1843-1903)p. 270
Rogers, Marguerite M. (1916-1989)p. 270
Rose, Mary Davies Swartz (1874-1941)p. 271
Rosenthal, Ida Cohen (1886-1973)p. 272
"Rosie the Riveter,"p. 272
Ross, Mary G. (b. 1908)p. 273
Rubin, Vera Cooper (b. 1928)p. 275
Russell, Lillian (1861-1922)p. 276
S., Mary (ca. 1851-1880)p. 279
Safety Engineeringp. 279
Seibert, Florence Barbara (1897-1991)p. 279
Seven College Conferencep. 281
Shaw, Mary (b. 1943)p. 282
Sherman, Patsy O. (b. 1930)p. 283
Sherrill, Mary Lura (1888-1968)p. 284
Shirley, Donna (b. 1941)p. 285
Silbergeld, Ellen Kovner (b. 1945)p. 286
Simpson, Joanne (b. 1923)p. 287
Sitterly, Charlotte Moore (1898-1990)p. 289
Slater, Hannah Wilkinson (Mrs. Samuel) (n.d.)p. 290
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)p. 291
Society of Women Engineers (SWE)p. 291
Solar Technologiesp. 292
Space Explorationp. 293
Spaeth, Mary (b. 1938)p. 296
Spectroscopyp. 297
Stanley, Louise (1883-1954)p. 299
Stevens, Nettie Maria (1861-1912)p. 301
Strickland, Sarah (1812-1872)p. 301
Strong, Harriet R. (1844-1929)p. 302
Taussig, Helen Brooke (1898-1986)p. 305
Telecommunicationsp. 307
Telkes, Maria (1900-1995)p. 308
Tesoro, Giuliana Cavaglieri (b. 1921)p. 310
Textilesp. 311
Thompson, Mary H. (1829-1895)p. 313
Todd, E. L. (n.d.)p. 313
Vallino, Lisa M. (b. 1961) and Rozier, Betty M. (b. 1939)p. 315
Van Deman, Esther (1862-1937)p. 316
Van Straten, Florence Wilhelmina (1913-1992)p. 317
Vassar Collegep. 318
Walker, Madame C. J. (1867-1919)p. 321
Walton, Mary (n.d.)p. 323
Waltz, Hazel Hook (n.d.)p. 324
Way, Katharine (1903-1995)p. 324
Weeks, Dorothy (1893-1990)p. 325
Weertman, Julia (b. 1926)p. 325
Welles, Sophia Woodhouse (n.d.)p. 327
Wellesley Collegep. 327
Wells, Jane (n.d.)p. 328
Whiting, Sarah Frances (1847-1927)p. 328
Widnall, Sheila (b. 1938)p. 330
Williams, Anna Wessels (1863-1954)p. 331
Women's Rightsp. 333
Wood, Elizabeth Armstrong (b. 1912)p. 334
Wu, Chien-Shiung (1912-1997)p. 335
Wu, Ying-Chu (Lin) Susan (b. 1932)p. 338
Yalow, Rosalyn Sussman (b. 1921)p. 341
Appendix Award Winnersp. 345
Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 361
About the Authorsp. 385