Monday, March 6, 2017

Edith Clarke - first female electrical engineer

Edith Clarke (1883-1959), a gifted mathematician, was raised in the John R. Clarke home “Arlington”.  She attended numerous colleges including Vassar (1908) and MIT (1919) and had a variety of jobs with the longest at General Electric 1919-1945. Her abilities were finally recognized and she was advanced to an engineer – a job previously closed to women. She invented the Clarke calculator, patented in 1921. After retiring, she taught for ten years at the University of Texas in Austin, then returned to Maryland.

Clarke was raised in the home "Arlington" which is now at Fairway Hills golf course. Her parents John Ridgely Clarke (1837-1890), a lawyer and farmer, and Susan Dorsey (Owings) Clarke (1850-1895) had many children.  Edith was only seven when her father passed, and after her mother died was sent to a boarding school in 1897.  

The other colleges she attended were U of Wisconsin and Columbia University.  She worked in San Francisco, and even  taught physics at the Constantinople Women's college in Turkey.

Maryland Women's Hall of Fame HERE

©2017 Patricia Bixler Reber
Forgotten history of Ellicott City & Howard County MD

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