The Smithsonian Institution has made available on Flickr an amazing set of photographs of early women scientists and engineers.The pictures include women who worked at the Smithsonian and images from the Science Service Archives now housed at the Smithsonian. Some of these women scientists are well-known, even Nobel laureates, while others worked in obscurity. Some used their scientific training and passion to do research, some to save lives as doctors and nurses, some to write about science, some to break the sound barrier, and some to advance the cause of women. To me, all of them were scientists.
Here’s a sampling of the photos included in the collection (this one picked for ScienceGrandma to enjoy):
Mary Agnes Chase (1869-1963) specialized in the study of grasses and conducted extensive field work in South America, often personally funding her research trips, as it was considered inappropriate for women to conduct such work. Chase joined the Department of Agriculture in 1903 as a botanical illustrator and eventually became Scientific Assistant in Systematic Agrostology, 1907; Assistant Botanist, 1923; and Associate Botanist, 1925. In 1935, became Principal Botanist in charge of Systematic Agrostology and Custodian of the Section of Grasses, Division of Plants, United States National Museum.
You can read a bit more about Chase (and her political activism) on the Smithsonian Bigger Picture blog.