Elizebeth Smith Friedman was a cryptanalyst and author, and a pioneer in U.S. cryptography. She has been dubbed "America's first female cryptanalyst". Although she is often referred to as the wife of William F. Friedman, a notable cryptographer credited with numerous contributions to cryptology, she enjoyed many successes in her own right, and it was Elizebeth who first introduced her husband to the field.
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was a former slave who became a successful seamstress, civic activist and author. She was best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady. Keckley had moved to Washington in 1860 after buying her freedom. She created an independent business in the capital based on clients who were the wives of the government elite. Among them were Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis; and Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie (11/07/1867 - 7/04/1934), often referred to as Marie Curie or Madame Curie, was a Polish physicist and chemist, working mainly in France, who is famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne).
The first female Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Sheila E. Widnall.
Annie Jump Cannon (awesome name, right?) was an American astronomer who was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. She is credited with the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures. This is the right way to admire hot stars!
A forgotten profession: In the days before alarm clocks were widely affordable, people like Mary Smith of Brenton Street were employed to rouse sleeping people in the early hours of the morning. They were commonly known as ‘knocker-ups’ or ‘knocker-uppers’. Mrs. Smith was paid sixpence a week to shoot dried peas at market workers’ windows in Limehouse Fields, London. Photograph from Philip Davies’ Lost London: 1870-1945.
Bert Williams. You wouldn't know it to look at this picture, but Williams was one of the first, wealthiest and most famous black comedians of his day. Booker T. Washington wrote of Williams: "He has done more for our race than I have. He has smiled his way into people's hearts; I have been obliged to fight my way." And WC Fields said of him, "the funniest man I ever saw – and the saddest man I ever knew."
Botanist Matilda Moldenhauer Brooks (b. 1891) attended Harvard and conducted research along with her husband, Sumner Cushing Brooks. She discovered an antidote for carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning in the ’30s. | 34 American Lady Scientists Who Changed The World