Picture submitted by Patricia via the Pittsburgh Beautiful app

Here are just seven of the many legendary women in Pittsburgh history.

1. Rachel Carson

Women in Pittsburgh History

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist who was born just outside Pittsburgh. Her book, titled Silent Spring, was credited with moving the global environment movement forward. Carson began as an aquatic biologist and then later, a full-time nature writer. She later focused on conservation and the issues surrounding synthetic pesticides. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Jimmy Carter after her death.

2. Nellie Bly

Women in Pittsburgh History

Nellie Bly was actually the pen name of Elizabeth Cochran Seaman. She was a journalist best known for her trip around the world in 72 days, which broke records at the time. She also worked diligently on an exposé about a mental institution. She was credited with launching a new type of investigative journalism.

3. Jane Swisshelm

Women in Pittsburgh History

Swisshelm was an abolitionist, women’s rights advocate and publisher. She was a writer in Pittsburgh and one of the first female journalists hired by Horace Greeley at the New York Tribune. Swisshelm also founded newspapers in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She later worked for the federal government while former President Andrew Johnson was in office.

4. Mary Cassatt

Women in Pittsburgh History

Mary Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker. She was known for her pictures of the lives of women, both social and private. She focused often on the bonds between moms and their children. Cassatt was born in what’s now the North Side and later spent most of her adult life in France.

5. Bertha Lamme Feicht

Women in Pittsburgh History

Known as the first female mechanical engineer, Bertha Lamme Feicht became the first woman to receive an engineering degree from Ohio State. She’s widely known as the first American female to graduate with a main discipline in engineering rather than just civil engineering. Feicht worked for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh for 12 years. She died in Pittsburgh in 1943 and is buried in Homewood Cemetery.

6. Margaret & Stella Stein

Women in Pittsburgh History

The Stein sisters were the first female students admitted to the University of Pittsburgh. The two graduated with B.A. and tied for first in their class. The sisters studied math, astronomy, mathematical chemistry and surveying.

7. Mrs. John O. Miller

Women in Pittsburgh History

Mrs. John O. Miller, as she was referred to in news stories, was the chairwoman of Pittsburgh’s suffragist movement during the important right-to-vote years leading up to 1920. She spent hours at local gatherings and debates surrounding the subject. Her given name was Lucy Kennedy Miller.

 

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