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Thursday
Mar102011

Women's History Month - Amy Beach, Gaelic Symphony

 Day 10 - Amy Beach - America’s First Female Symphonic Composer

 

Headlines celebrated the work as the first symphony by an American woman, stressing her gender but ignoring any nationalist implications. No critic declared it an American work; yet it fit one contemporary definition of a nationalist work, that it draw on the music of any ethnic group in the United States.

Wednesday
Mar092011

Women's History Month - Emily Warren Roebling

Reprint From National Academy of Engineering

Day 9 - Emily Warren Roebling was, and still is, considered to be the person who was in charge of the day to day construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Emily W. RoeblingEmily Warren Roebling was, and still is, considered to be the person who was in charge of the day to day construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Conceived by her father-in-law, John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the largest engineering projects in America’s history. In the late 1800’s, there was no greater challenge than spanning the East River from Brooklyn to New York.

So, in 1869, John Roebling began designing the Brooklyn Bridge. Emily became involved in the Brooklyn Bridge project when her father-in-law died and her husband, Washington, took over as master bridge builder. In order to help her husband as much as she could, Emily started studying topics in civil engineering - math, strength of materials, stress analysis, and cable construction. In 1872, Washington came down with an illness that left him bed-ridden and partially paralyzed.

Now, Washington had to rely on Emily to carry out plans for completion of the bridge. Emily became such a major participant in the project that many people began to believe she was Chief Engineer. In addition to answering questions about the bridge from officials and contractors, Emily also kept all the records, answered Washington’s mail, delivered messages and requests to the bridge office, and represented Washington at social functions.

One of the most important social functions Emily attended was a meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Questions had come up about her husband’s ability to head the Brooklyn Bridge project. Emily delivered a moving speech on behalf of her husband that ensured his position as Chief Engineer. Emily Roebling never planned on becoming an engineer. However, she accomplished what could only be describes as a huge engineering feat for that time.

Tuesday
Mar082011

Women's History Month - Elizabeth Lee Hazen & Rachel Fuller Brown

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Smithtown Matters is proud to recognize the accomplishments of women.  It is fascinating to learn the wonderful and interesting ways women have made their mark on the world.  Throughout March, SmithtownMatters will give a brief history of women who made a difference.

Day 8- Elizabeth Lee Hazen (1885-1975) Rachel Fuller Brown (1898 – 1980) Chemists and Inventors created the antibiotic Nystatin.

Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Fuller Brown both worked for Division of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health (one in NYC the other in Albany) they collaborated by sharing test results and samples through the U.S. mail. Together they developed Nystatin, the first effective antibiotic treatment for fungal disease in humans (1950).  Nystatin was considered to be the most important biomedical breakthrough since the invention of penicillin in 1928.

 A side effect of penicillin was rapid growth of fungus, which often leads to sore mouths and upset stomachs.  Hazen and Brown developed an effective treatment for the growth of fungus. Today, users include recipients of organ transplants; burn victims, those on chemotherapy and AIDS patients.

Nystatin became available in tablet form in 1954 to patients suffering from candidiasis (thrush). Nystatin is currently available in tablet, capsule, liquid or lozenge, vaginal cream, powder and ointment and is used to treat fungal infections of the skin, mouth vagina and intestinal tract.  It has also been used in agricultural and livestock applications and to restore works of art. Nystatin cream is also used for diaper rash.

Hazen and Brown collected over $13 million in royalties from the development of Nystatin, which they dedicated to scientific research. They provided funds for scientific research and scholarship establishing a trust fund to advance women in science.

Brown and Hazen were awarded (1955) Squibb Award in Chemotherapy.  They received the Distinguished Service Award of the NYS Dept. of Health in 1968, Rhoda Benham Award of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas 1972.  In 1975 Brown and Hazen were the first women to receive the Chemical Pioneer Award (American Institute of Chemists).  Hazen and Brown were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (1994)

Monday
Mar072011

Women's History Month - Giuliana Tesoro

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Smithtown Matters is proud to recognize the accomplishments of women.  It is fascinating to learn the wonderful and interesting ways women have made their mark on the world.  Throughout March, SmithtownMatters will give a brief history of women who made a difference.

Day 7- Giuliana Tesoro, Ph.D., Chemist, Educator, Inventor of Flame-resistant fibers

 

Giuliana Tesoro was born in Venice, Italy in 1921.  She moved to the United States during the turbulent Nazi period.  She worked hard to complete her education and received her Ph.D. at the age of twenty-one.   Her interest in the textile industry led her to develop 120 U.S. Patents.  She created flame-resistant fibers, designed ways to prevent static accumulation in synthetic fibers and created improved permanent press properties for textiles. Giuliana was a founding member of the Fiber Society, served on Board’s for the Textile Research Journal, National Academy of Science’s Committee on Fire Safety of Polymeric Materials.  Giuliana also created programs to allow manufacturing projects to run at peak operation and efficiency. In 1963 she was awarded the Olney Medal of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. She was the recipient of the Society of Women Engineers’ Achievement Award in 1978.

 

Flame retardant clothing is a creation of the chemist, educator and inventor named Giuliana Tesoro.

 

Sunday
Mar062011

Women's History Month - Gertrude Ederle

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Smithtown Matters is proud to recognize the accomplishments of women.  It is fascinating to learn the wonderful and interesting ways women have made their mark on the world.  Throughout March, SmithtownMatters will give a brief history of women who made a difference.

By Rosanne Nelan

 

Day 6 - Gertrude Caroline Ederle - Competitive Swimmer, First Female to swim English Channel. Set the record for crossing the English Channel in 1926. 1924 Gold medal and Bronze medalist  in Summer Olympics.

Gertrude Caroline Ederle was a famous American competitive swimmer who, at the age of 19, became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. She broke all previous records for swimming the English Channel with a time of 14 hours and 39 minutes. Her record stood for 35 years. Gertrude set 29 United States and world records between 1921 and 1925. In the 1924 Summer Olympics she earned a gold medal as part of the 400-meter freestyle relay team and bronze medals in the 100-meter and 400-meter freestyle races.

Gertrude Ederle also know as the Queen of Waves, was born and raised in New York City. She learned to swim in Highlands, New Jersey.  She trained at the Women’s Swimming Association and by the age of thirteen had broken more amateur records than any other woman in the world.

On August 6, 1926 she completed the feat of swimming across the channel. While swimming she was followed along by a boat to insure her well being.  During her twelfth hour at sea, the captain of the ship became so upset about foul weather that someone on board, called to her “Gertie, you must come out! “The exhausted swimmer called back from the waters and replied, “What for?”

When she returned to her home town of NYC after her heroic swim across the English Channel, she was greeted by Mayor James J. Walker and two million people who lined lower Broadway and showered her in ticker tape. She was first person honored in a parade with ticker tape.

Throughout her life she had hearing problems due to an early childhood sickness. Towards the end of her life, she began teaching deaf children to swim. She was an extremely determined and hardworking woman who proved her self to the world. Her accomplishments will always serve as evidence for the endless possibilities for women in sports. 

 

This excellent example of women’s potential died on November 30, 2003 in Wyckoff, Jersey.