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Clarke, Edith (10 February 1883–29 October 1959), electrical engineer, was born near Ellicott City, Maryland, the daughter of John Ridgely Clarke, a lawyer and gentleman farmer, and Susan Dorsey Owings. Orphaned at age twelve, Clarke was raised by an older sister. In 1904 Clarke decided to use her inheritance to obtain an education and enrolled at Vassar College, where she studied mathematics and astronomy and received an A.B. in 1908....

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Hicks, Beatrice Alice (2 Jan. 1919–21 Oct. 1979), engineer, inventor, and business executive, was born Beatrice Alice Hickstein to Florence Benedict Neben and William Lux Hickstein in Orange, New Jersey. She often recounted that she was drawn to the field of engineering at the age of thirteen when her father, a chemical engineer, took her to see the Empire State Building and the George Washington Bridge. Amazed by the structures, she inquired who built them, and upon learning they were designed by engineers, she decided that she wanted to become one as well. As a student at Orange High School, she enjoyed mathematics, physics, chemistry, and mechanical drawing. Her academic interests and professional aspirations, however, received little support from her family, friends, and teachers. Her parents, concerned with having to finance special schooling for Beatrice’s younger sister, Margaret, who was born with an intellectual disability, encouraged her to study stenography instead. Meanwhile, she encountered outright opposition from her classmates and some of her teachers, who made a point of telling her that engineering—where women made up less than one percent of the profession—was not a suitable field for female students....

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Roebling, Emily Warren (23 September 1843–28 February 1903), surrogate chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, was born Emily Warren in Cold Spring, Putnam County, New York, to Sylvanus Warren, a New York State assemblyman and supervisor of Philipstown, New York, and Phebe Lickley Warren. As a young woman Emily excelled as an equestrian, but this activity was superseded by academic pursuits when her brother ...