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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1973
Birth: 1821 - Death: 1910
Born In: , England
Died In: , England
Achievements: Science
Educated In: New York
Schools Attended: Geneva College (Hobart & William Smith Colleges)
Worked In: Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York

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Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell, born in Britain, was the first woman awarded the M.D. degree. Many nineteeth-century physicians, including a few women, practiced without a degree, but Elizabeth Blackwell wished to attain full professional status. She was rejected by all the major medical schools in the nation because of her sex. Her application to Geneva Medical School (now Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York) was referred to the student body. They accepted with great hilarity in the belief that it was a spoof perpetrated by a rival school. Working with quiet determination, she turned aside the hostility of the professors, students, and townspeople. She earned her medical degree in 1849. Blackwell completed her medical education in Europe, but faced additional difficulties in setting up her practice when she returned to New York. Barred from city hospitals, she founded her own infirmary. Eventually she founded a Women's Medical College to train other women physicians. Blackwell's educational standards were higher than the all-male medical schools. Her courses emphasized the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene to prevent diseases. She later returned to Britain and spent the rest of her life there, working to expand medical opportunities for women as she had in America.
Additional Sources:

Kline, Nancy. Elizabeth Blackwell: a doctor's triumph. Berkeley, California: Conari Press, c1997. NOTES: Part of ""The Barnard Biography"" series.

Sahli, Nancy Ann. Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. (1821-1910): a biography. New York: Arno Press, 1982, c1974. NOTES: Part of ""Dissertations in American biography"" series.

Latham, Jean Lee. Elizabeth Blackwell, pioneer women doctor. Champaign, Illinois: Garrard Pub. Co., 1975. NOTES: Part of ""A Discovery Book"" series.

The Laws of Life: (with special reference to the Physical Education of Girls).New York: G.P.Putnam, 1852.

The Religion of Health. Edinburgh:John Menzies, 1878.

Counsel to Parents on the Moral Education of Their Children. London: H. Smyth and Son, 1878.

Rescue Work in Relation to Prostitution and Disease. [London?]: Leonard and Lingle, 1887.

Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women. London and New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895. NOTES: Autobiography.

Letters 1850-1884, 152 items. Columbia University, University Libraries, Butler Library. New York, New York.

Papers 1830-1950, 40 ft. (ca. 29,000 items). Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Washington, D.C.

Blackwell Family papers, 1784-1944, and Addition 1832-1942, ca. 100 items/ 2 boxes. Radcliffe College, The Arthur & Elizabeth Schlesinger Library of women in America. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago