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Ellen Swallow Richards

A look at the life and work of Ellen Swallow Richards

A look at the life and work of Ellen Swallow Richards

In 1887, the State Board of Health of Massachusetts began a comprehensive and unprecedented survey of the state's water supplies. Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman admitted to MIT and the Institute's first female instructor, worked as a key contributor for the survey. Richards supervised the examination of over twenty thousand samples of water and, as a result, Massachusetts established the first water-quality standards in America.

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