Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Nora Stanton Blatch Barney

From: United Kingdom, United States: Connecticut, New York
Fields: Activism and Social Service, Architecture and Interior Design, Engineering, Human Rights
Key Words/Phrases: civil engineer, architect, activist, suffragist
Nora Stanton, a granddaughter of the American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was the first junior member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Stanton was born September 30, 1883 in Basingstoke, England. In 1905, she graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. with a B.C.E. degree. That same year, she became a junior member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Some twelve years later, she applied for upgrade to associate membership, but her request was denied.

In 1906, she married Lee De Forest, the inventor of the vacuum tube and a pioneer in television. They divorced in 1912. In 1919, she married again. Her second husband was a marine architect Morgan Barney.

In 1909, she became an assistant engineer and chief drafter for the Radley Steel Construction Company. In 1912, she was employed by the New York Public Service Commision as an assistant engineer. She also worked for the Public Works Administration in Connecticut and Rhode Island as an architect, engineering inspector and a structural-steel designer.

Stanton was also involved in work for world peace and equal rights for women. In 1944, she wrote World Peace Through a Peoples Parliament. Between the years of 1944 and 1971, she was a real-estate developer. Nora Stanton died January 18, 1971 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Contributed by Danuta Bois, 1999.

1. The Book of Women's Firsts: Breakthrough Achievements of Almost 1,000 American Women by Phyllis J. Read and Bernard L. Witlieb, Random House, 1992


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