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Nora Stanton Blatch Barney 1921 | by puzzlemaster
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Nora Stanton Blatch Barney 1921

with daughters Harriet DeForest and Rhoda Barney




"Nora Stanton Blatch Barney (September 30, 1883 – January 18, 1971) was a civil engineer, architect, and suffragist.


She was born Nora Stanton Blatch in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England in 1883 to William Blatch and Harriot Eaton Stanton, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She studied Latin and mathematics at the Horace Mann School in New York, beginning in 1897, returning to England in the summers. The family moved to the United States in 1902. Nora attended Cornell University, graduating in 1905 as the first woman to earn a degree in any type of engineering in the United States; her degree was in civil engineering. In the same year, she was accepted as a junior member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and began work for the New York City Board of Water Supply. Following the examples set by her mother and grandmother, Nora also became active in the growing women's suffrage movement.


In 1908, she married the inventor Lee De Forest, and helped to manage some of the companies he had founded to promote his invention and the new technology of wireless (radio). The couple spent their honeymoon in Europe marketing radio equipment developed by De Forest. However, the couple separated only a year later, due largely to De Forest's insistence that Nora quit her profession and become a conventional housewife. Shortly afterward, in June 1909, Nora gave birth to their daughter, Harriot Stanton De Forest. Also in 1909, Nora began working as an engineer for the Radley Steel Construction Company. She divorced Lee De Forest in 1911. After her divorce, she continued her engineering career, working for the New York Public Service Commission as an assistant engineer, and later for the Public Works Administration in Connecticut and Rhode Island as an architect, engineering inspector and structural-steel designer.


In 1919, Nora married Morgan Barney, a marine architect. Their daughter, Rhoda Barney Jenkins, born July 12, 1920, in New York, was an architect and social activist. Nora continued to work for equal rights for women and world peace, and in 1944 authored World Peace Through a People's Parliament.


Nora worked as a real-estate developer and political activist until her death in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1971."

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Taken on April 9, 2013