On This Day
1910 – Freda Du Faur becomes the first woman to climb Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.
Emmeline Freda Du Faur (16 September 1882 – 13 September 1935) was an Australian mountaineer, credited as the first woman to climb New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook. Du Faur was a leading amateur climber of her day. She was the first female high mountaineer known to be active in New Zealand, although she never lived there.
“Freda Du Faur extended the limits of the possible, not just for women, but for all guided climbers of the period. Key factors were her rock-climbing ability, determination, and physical fitness”.
Born On This Day
1842 – Ellen Swallow Richards, American chemist, ecologist, and educator (d. 1911)
Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (December 3, 1842 – March 30, 1911) was an industrial and safety engineer, environmental chemist, and university faculty member in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering, and experimental research in domestic science, laid a foundation for the new science of home economics. She was the founder of the home economics movement characterized by the application of science to the home, and the first to apply chemistry to the study of nutrition.
Richards graduated from Westford Academy (second oldest secondary school in Massachusetts) in 1862. She was the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated in 1873 and later became its first female instructor. Mrs. Richards was the first woman in America accepted to any school of science and technology, and the first American woman to obtain a degree in chemistry, which she earned from Vassar College in 1870.
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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