Ellen Swallow Richards

Biography of Ellen Swallow Richards

Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (December 3, 1842 – March 30, 1911) was the foremost female industrial and environmental chemist in the United States in the 19th century, pioneering the field of home economics. Richards graduated from Westford Academy (2nd oldest secondary school in Massachusetts). She was the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its first female instructor, the first woman in America accepted to any school of science and technology, and the first American woman to earn a degree in chemistry.

Richards was a pragmatic feminist, as well as a founding ecofeminist who believed that women's work within the home was a vital aspect of the economy.

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