From the Slums of Martinique to the Top of Harlem’s Numbers Rackets
The Harlem Renaissance of the ‘20s and ‘30s was a hotbed of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, politics, and scholarship. It gave us luminaries like Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, W.E.B. DuBois and Jessie Redmon Fauset. But for many, when it came to Black identity, community and the everyday experience of Black people, a woman named Stephanie St. Clair loomed large.
From Kitchen Tinkerer to Acclaimed Inventor at the 1893 World’s Fair
“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” These were words Josephine Garis Cochrane lived by … except when it came to doing the dishes. Why had nobody invented a machine that could clean stacks of dirty dishes without chipping them? After all, it was the 19th century, when there were machines that sewed clothes and cut grass, so how hard could it be?
71 Die in Worst Civilian Disaster of the Civil War
I’m sure Harriet Beecher Stowe meant well when, in 1861, she rallied American women to patriotism, writing, “We thank God for mothers that cheer on their sons, for young wives that have said ‘go’ to their husbands, for widows who have given their only sons.” But as the bloody Civil War dragged on, some women chose a more hands-on approach to support the war — they went to dangerous work in arsenals, helping build and fuel the machinery of war at places like the Allegheny Arsenal in Lawrenceville, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Diminutive, quiet, and bespectacled, it was Mary Sears’ nature to let her research and prodigious body of work speak louder than any commendations or public recognition that came her way. Still, few would argue that she changed the course of oceanographic history, contributed to its growth as an internationally recognized science and, along the way, helped win World War II.
A Rebel Against a Virulently Misogynist Puritan Culture
Anne Hutchinson may well have been one of America’s first “nasty women.” A spiritual leader in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, she poked the hornet’s nest by challenging the patriarchy and upending gender roles, preaching to audiences of both sexes and daring to critique the Bible and Puritan laws.
A Story of Corporate Greed, Misogyny, and Patent Office Incompetence
You know the rules. Landlords get rich at the expense of tenants. Travel means shelling out for a railroad ticket. You can have utilities, but they’ll cost you. Run afoul of the landlord and go directly to jail — forget about passing GO and collecting $200. It’s the board game Monopoly, invented by a feisty, progressive feminist whose invention was stolen in the 1930s by a man named Charles Darrow.